Anti-racism activist Jane Elliott leaves white audience speechless with a brilliant question about race: (VIDEO)

By | June 1, 2020

Jane Elliott (née Jennison; born May 27, 1933) is an American former third-grade schoolteacher, anti-racism activist, and educator. She is known for her “Blue eyes–Brown eyes” exercise. She first conducted her famous exercise for her class on April 5, 1968, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. When her local newspaper published compositions that the children had written about the experience, the reactions (both positive and negative) formed the basis for her career as a public speaker against discrimination. Elliott’s classroom exercise was filmed the third time she held it with her 1970 third-graders to become The Eye of the Storm. This in turn inspired a retrospective that reunited the 1970 class members with their teacher fifteen years later in A Class Divided. After leaving her school, Elliott became a diversity educator full-time. She still holds the exercise and gives lectures about its effects all over the U.S. and in several locations overseas.

Jane Elliott, the longtime anti-racism activist, speaks to a crowd of more than 90 at The People’s Alliance for Justice event.(Brittany Meiling/U-T) with a candid conversation on race.

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