Where was the most significant of Braithwaite's contributions in helping to change the students in his classroom setting?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say that one of the most significant moments where Braithwaite's contributions to the students' lives is evident would be when they all attend Seale's mother's funeral.  Braithwaite, as a man of color, is moved to see all of his students stand up against racial prejudice and injustice and stand for one of their own.  One of the critical elements that end up defining many of the characterizations in the novel is the issue of race and how racial prejudice impacts both its victims and its perpetrators.  Braithwaite has a complex attitude towards race in that he is trying to teach his students about the ability to transcend it, yet he finds himself mired in it at many points.  Yet, his contributions towards his own students' understanding of the issue is evident in how they were able to combat their own fears and personal prejudices and stand for one of their own.  In this moment, one that had been predicated by personal bitterness on the part of Braithwaite, he is moved to tears in seeing all of his students present, having overcome, for only a moment, something that Braithwaite, himself, had been battling throughout his life.