The Washington Post reports that a textbook given to fourth-graders in the Commonwealth of Virginia details that thousands of African American soldiers fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War — a claim rejected by most Civil War historians.
“Our Virginia: Past and Present” is a textbook given to children at Virginia public schools for the first time this fall, the Post reports. Virginia is a state that, like Texas, can boast a deep history worth teaching.
Of course some of that history is shameful, and true local patriots believe that misrepresenting that shame only perpetuates an affront against the entire Commonwealth. Hence Virginia education officials are asking teachers to pass over a passage that would not withstand the scrutiny of a few fact-checking Google searches.
The Post reports that College of William & Mary historian Carol Sheriff called out the textbook’s author, Joy Masoff — who is not a professional historian — on including an account that has been debunked by historians.
The claim endorsed by Masoff and, now, elementary school textbooks adopted statewide, stems from the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a pride organization that boasts that many black soldiers fought on the side of the South. The group also disputes that slavery was the primary point of disagreement that sparked the Civil War, claiming instead that the South fought “to preserve their homes and livelihood,” the Post reports.