In what is one of the most odious items I have read about American textbooks in a long time, this one created by McGraw-Hill for world geography had this (from the Washington Post):
In a section titled “Patterns of Immigration,” a speech bubble pointing to a U.S. map read: “The Atlantic Slave Trade between the 1500s and 1800s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations.”
Workers? Like going to Microsoft with their visas and everything?
Hell no, there were no "workers" from Africa. There were only human beings who were kidnapped, beaten and starved on ships and then, when they got to their destination, those human beings were sold as slaves. Shame on you, McGraw-Hill.
I think on the basis of that single item, that no district should buy their books. There is ZERO excuse for this.
A mom in Texas, who was a teacher at a public high school, got a text from her son who saw this in his textbook in class.
“This is erasure,” Dean-Burren said in an interview with The Washington Post. “This is revisionist history — retelling the story however the winners would like it told.”She's right; history is told by the victors.
I worked in the textbook industry and I know that every single thing in those books is triple-checked. They don't just let things slide by. This was not an error (and you'll see that M-H doesn't even say it was.)
McGraw-Hill Education sought to redress these implied untruths in a Facebook announcement Friday. While the geography program “meets the learning objectives of the course,” the publishing company’s statement said, a close review of the content revealed 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,” it continues. “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.”
The educational publisher has been criticized for its Texas materials before. McGraw-Hill was one of a handful of textbook providers that came under fire after the Texas State Board of Education adopted new standards for its social studies curriculum in 2010 — a policy that educators derided for interfering with accurate history instruction.
But Ms. Dean-Burren's son, Coby, had it right.
Shortly after the publisher’s response, Dean-Burren and her son were sitting next to each other on the couch when Coby started dialing his mother’s cell phone number.Keep it up, Coby.
“Why are you calling me?” she asked, confused.
He urged, “Answer your phone.” Speaking into his, Coby fulfilled a request that Dean-Burren made when her son started high school.
“Mom,” he said, “you told me to call you when I realized I could change the world.”