Educational publishing giant McGraw-Hill Education has acknowledged that a white-washed description of slavery in one of their Geography books is disingenuous at best and are taking steps to rectify the issue immediately.
After Texas parent Roni Dean-Burren posted a video of her son’s textbook, in which enslaved Africans were referred to as migrant workers (insert biggest side-eye ever), backlash on social was swift and hard.
Many of you asked about my son’s textbook. Here it is.
Erasure is real y’all!!! Teach your children the truth!!!
As previously reported in 2010 by NewsOne, this change has been a long time in the making, with not just the harsh reality of slavery being altered, but also the Civil Rights Movement — though Dean-Burren’s video has made the issue a viral one.
The Washington Post also reported on the issue in July, saying “…when it comes to the Civil War, children are supposed to learn that the conflict was caused by “sectionalism, states’ rights and slavery” — written deliberately in that order to telegraph slavery’s secondary role in driving the conflict, according to some members of the state board of education.”
McGraw-Hill issued the following statement on Facebook:
This week, we became aware of a concern regarding a caption reference to slavery on a map in one of our world geography programs. This program addresses slavery in the world in several lessons and meets the learning objectives of the course. However, we conducted a close review of the content and agree that our language in that caption did not adequately convey that Africans were both forced into migration and to labor against their will as slaves.
We believe we can do better. To communicate these facts more clearly, we will update this caption to describe the arrival of African slaves in the U.S. as a forced migration and emphasize that their work was done as slave labor. These changes will be reflected in the digital version of the program immediately and will be included in the program’s next print run.
McGraw-Hill Education is committed to developing the highest quality educational materials and upholding the academic integrity of our products. We value the insight the public brings to discussions of our content.
We encourage all parents to check their children’s textbooks and make sure they are historically accurate.