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Former School Teacher Jane Elliott

Source: Layne Kennedy / Getty

Talking about “allies” or white folks who “are invited to the cookout” can feel very uncomfortable. My immediate and gut response is usually “Yes, they’ve spoken out a couple times on behalf of the Black community or have participated in a cool trend that makes them feel relatable, but do they actually understand and respect our plight as a people?”

I can say (with my whole chest) that Jane Elliott does and what’s more is, she lives her life accordingly, holding her white peers accountable in every and all settings — regardless of their discomfort. Teaching white people about the effects of racial discrimination and systemic oppression, Jane has dedicated her life to helping the world understand where the idea of race came from and what Black people and people of color go through every day. She has raged against the American education system, which would have us all believe Black history began with slavery. She has said time and time again that all people came from Black women and that the only reason ‘white’ people even exist is because their ancestors moved further away from the equator. She has spent a lifetime trying to break down the illusion of a superior race, insisting that we are all human and need to start understanding that.

With the Black community, and communities around the world, currently protesting against police violence and racism, some of Jane Elliott’s teachings have once more come into focus. Here are 5 must-see Jane Elliott videos. Be sure to chime in with your thoughts.

Jane Elliott’s ‘Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes’ Exercise Played Out On The Oprah Winfrey Show

Jane Elliott On The Plight Of Black People Who Have Long Faced Systemic Oppression & Racial Discrimination

A Look Into Jane Elliott’s Classroom, As She Teaches White Students What Racial Discrimination Feels Like

Jane Elliott Joins Red Table Talk To Discuss The Racial Divide In America & When The Concept of Race Began

Jane Elliott On How People Learn To Hate

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