Often when I have the technology, I also have slides of okra, from plant to images of dishes that include okra (gumbo, jambalaya, fried okra, etc.). I also show images of the diagrams of the ships loaded with humans side by side, pictures of the slave castles of Ghana, the Door of No Return. I have since learned that there was a Door of No Return on the East African coast where enslaved humans were shipped to the Mideast for servitude as well. We often know only a portion of our global history.
1) we have to remember that this history of slavery is not just for Black America, it is the history we all carry one way or another as a nation so we must be familiar with it, own it, take responsibility to change the course, especially now;
2) the only way to resolve the issues of racism is to create an understanding, an empathy in all people so that the actions that result from racism are no longer tolerable.
We must be able to internalize the horror to combat it. And it takes each of us to do so. If my taking the character to heart and sharing it means that the 6th grade blonde girl in Watkins Glen, NY, cries from the realization of the truth, then so be it. I have the agency to do so. And so it did happen one morning last January. That child may find it very difficult to tolerate racism much less commit acts that harken it in the future because she was able to picture herself within the shackles herself. I would do the same in sharing the horror of the Holocaust of Nazi Germany, had Anne Frank not done so already.