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The groundbreaking, and controversial work of educator Jane Elliott is one that continues to draw attention today. For more than five decades, Elliott put forth the question: What if, by eight years old, children could possess the mechanism to disrupt prejudicial tendencies? In "Shades of Brown: The Official Biography of Jane Elliott and the Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes Exercise," Todd Mealy examines the origins, use, and implications of her eye color exercise.
Following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968, Elliott set out to prove or disprove her case, first with elementary school students in her hometown of Riceville, Iowa, and later with adults in seminars of corporate, correctional, educational, and military personnel. The Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes role-playing concept was the way, Elliott discovered to mitigate inclinations of racism and prejudice and to teach the central lesson that we are one race.
Todd Mealy is an adjunct professor of History at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and is also a teacher at McCaskey High School in Lancaster, PA. He has spent two decades teaching both History and Writing at schools in the Keystone State. He is also the founder and director of the National Institute for Customizing Education, and has written several books on education, race and history, including "Equity in the Classroom," "Legendary Locals of Harrisburg," and "Glenn Killinger, All-American."
"Shades of Brown" is available through Sunbury's Oxford Southern Press imprint.