Oh how I love this! I have seen the original exercise many times, however, PBS’s Frontline produced an amazing five part series you won’t want to miss!
Jane Elliott’s – Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Exercise – “A CLASS DIVIDED”
This is one of the most requested programs in FRONTLINE’s history. It is about an Iowa schoolteacher who, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in 1968, gave her third-grade students a first-hand experience in the meaning of discrimination. This is the story of what she taught the children, and the impact that lesson had on their lives.
Your brother routinely makes anti-Semitic comments. Your neighbor uses the N-word in casual conversation. Your co-worker ribs you about your Italian surname, asking if you’re in the mafia. Your classmate insults something by saying, “That’s so gay.”
And you stand there, in silence, thinking, “What can I say in response to that?” Or you laugh along, uncomfortably. Or, frustrated or angry, you walk away without saying anything, thinking later, “I should have said something.”
People spoke about encounters in stores and restaurants, on streets and in schools. They spoke about family, friends, classmates and co-workers. They spoke about what they did or didn’t say — and what they wished they did or didn’t say.
And no matter the location or relationship, the stories echo each other.
Speak Up! is a book that shares love, insight and pain, but also offers “lost words”, practical solutions and hope for a better tomorrow.
This is a continuation of our look at the “Race: Are we so different?” exhibit highlights. If you are just joining us, you might also want to check out Part 1 and Part 2.
Today I’m linking to the Who is White? quiz. Take it and see what you think. In her own words, this is why Vernellia Randall, Professor of Law, University of Dayton Law School, developed it:
I created this survey to help show that we make judgments not only about who is white but also about what countries are white (or predominantly white), and to call attention to some of the questions this raises.
For example, when someone is not considered white is a citizen of a country that is considered white, that person is often perceived as a foreigner. For instance, even though the families of many Japanese Americans have been in the U.S. much longer than the families of European Americans, they are often viewed as outsiders.
Our opinions about who is white and who is not can affect how we relate to one another. Race matters because discrimination based on perceived racial grouping continues to exist.”
There is a traveling exhib that was developed by the American Anthropological Association, titled “Race: Are we so different?”. The exhibit examines racial issues through history, science, and experiences. This is a wonderful exhibit that offers a wealth of information. I thought it would be fun to highlight a few of my favorite parts of the exhibit over my next several posts.