Project this powerpoint of pictures for your class before you begin reading the novel. The show what the characters are dealing with when it comes to segregation.
My students were SICKENED by the photos and actually questioned me extensively about how people got away with this kind of treatment.
"Were places really like this?" "Why didn't someone say that this wasn't right?" "Seriously?!? All because of skin color??" "What is wrong with these people???"
I used this in one class period, but easily could have had discussion for several days. It was a great way TO GET THEM INTERESTED IN THE NOVEL and give them some background information!