Brainy Quote of the Day

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Hidden History 9 February 2017...

Image Source: Diversity Delivers
Topics: African Americans, Diaspora, Diversity in Science, STEM, Women in Science

I will promote two books; one starting tomorrow that Ms. Elliot recommended on The Karen Hunter Show, Sirius XM Urban View during an interview with the host. I enjoyed them, and found them both astonishing and cathartic. One book is anthropology tackling the origins of certain comfortable myths (for some) and the other prose written in a poetic styling that captivates as it teaches from the author's perspective, quite revolutionary and brave of her at the time of its writing. Both should be taught in the public school systems to combat racism, sexism and xenophobia, but that quaint notion - "public school" and the Common Good - seems to have been bought by the highest bidder, who will apparently protect us all from grizzly bears.

In 1968, in response to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a third grade teacher, Ms. Jane Elliott, in all-white, all-Christian, Riceville, Iowa, involved her students in an exercise in discrimination based on eye color. It was her attempt to help them to understand some of the reasons why Black people were taking to the streets and demanding equitable treatment with whites.

Since then she has conducted the same exercise with people of all ages in cities all over the United States and in several other countries.

Over a dozen films have been made of Ms. Elliott conducting the exercise. In response to requests from diversity trainers, both in the US and abroad, Ms. Elliott has now provided us with a compilation DVD of some compelling moments from those films. Seeing and discussing these clips can help us to recognize some of the issues surrounding the "isms" with which we all live. It may also help us to realize how we as human beings react when we are treated unfairly on the basis of physical characteristics over which we have no control. The use of the material can help to increase our awareness of the effects of racism, sexism, ageism, able-ism, homophobia, ethnocentricity, and bigotry in general.

This DVD contains carefully selected and thought-provoking clips from the Blue-Eyed/Brown-Eyed documentaries. These compelling moments are to be used to help diversity educators to respond to statements most frequently expressed by participants during diversity workshops.

The accompanying study guide contains ten examples of the stereotypical remarks that are made in Diversity Training classes. It lists clips relative to the remarks from several of the films, and provides discussion questions that help to refute some of the erroneous assumptions implied in the remarks. This material is appropriate for diversity training in junior and senior high schools, colleges, corporations, military groups and civic organizations.

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