The Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassination

Decent Essays
It was the day after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, April 5th, 1968, when third grade teacher, Jane Elliott conducted her first “Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes” exercise in her classroom. Just two years later, her class project went viral, and she drew national attention when ABC broadcasted her story in a documentary, Eye of the Storm. After researching Elliott further, I discovered that her simple role playing exercise surely changed her life, and this publication kick charged her equality campaign in which she continues to advocate for today by crusading throughout North America and delivering lectures about the realities of discrimination. Jane’s special project sparked when she told her young class of eight and nine year olds that blue-eyed people were smarter and were better than brown-eyed people. Blue-eyed children were allowed an extra five minutes at recess, could have extras at lunch, got to sit in the front of the classroom, and were greatly applauded for their successes. On the opposite spectrum, brown-eyed students were forced to wear navy fabric collars in order to be easily identified. The groups were forced into segregation and were not allowed to play with one another out on the playground. Even when a brown-eyed student is tormented, the exercise continues; it is all a part of the experiment. The next day, the children switched roles, allowing them to all comprehend the degrading and humiliating emotional aspects of being an “outsider”.

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