On the morning following the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., Jane Elliott&mdasha third-grade teacher from Riceville, Iowadecided the time was ripe for a risk. What might it feel like to be black, she asked her class. It was a lesson her students would not soon forget. Now, more than 30 years later, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) celebrates Elliott’s courageous attempt to confront racial prejudice in the classroom with “A Class Divided.” The web site, which complements a Frontline documentary by the same name about Elliott’s remarkable “blue eyes/brown eyes” exercise, enables students to view the documentary in its entirety and provides resources to stimulate discussion about the state of racism in America today. It also contains a number of readings and links for students to conduct follow-up research. For teachers, there is an online guide with several lessons corresponding to the documentary. There’s even a discussion section where educators can seek answers to questions, as well as a published interview with Jane Elliott herself.
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