In 1968, the day after Martin Luther King, Jr.
was assassinated Jane Elliot decided to teach her third grade class a lesson about racism. The result was the Blue Eye / Brown Eye experiment
In the White enclave
of Riceville, fighting racism was not looked upon by most as an honorable duty
. As a result of her work, kids beat up her own children. Her parents’ business lost customers. Elliott and her family received regular death threats. And each fall, parents called Elliott’s principal and said, 'I don’t want my kid in that nigger-lover’s classroom!'
In the early ’80s Elliott was denied unpaid leave
to run the exercise for a corporation
's employees, and decided to retire from teaching and take her anti-racism crusade on the road. She describes her work as 'an inoculation