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Publisher To Revise Texas Textbook after Pearland Mom Complains Passage Called Slaves ‘Workers’

Mega-publisher McGraw-Hill has apologized and said it will revise the book.

When Roni Dean-Burren saw her son’s world geography text book, one section alarmed her.

It was called “Patterns of Immigration” and she posted her concerns on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1&v=Mxawf6Ktyeo

 

In the YouTube video Dean-Burren, who is pursuing doctoral studies at the University of Houston, read a passage that referred to slaves as immigrants.

“Immigrants, yeah, that that word matters. Immigrants. ‘The Atlantic Slave Trade between the 1500s and the 1800s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations.’ So (slavery) is now considered immigration,” Dean-Burren said in the video.

Her complaint is the latest flare-up over new Texas textbooks.

When the State Board of Education approved new history and social studies materials last year, many historians and teachers protested that they downplayed issues like slavery and climate change in favor of more conservative views.

The social media outcry on this geography lesson got the attention of mega publisher McGraw-Hill, which was responsible for the text in question.

The company issued an apology on Facebook and admitted that the book “did not adequately convey that Africans were both forced into migration and to labor against their will as slaves.”

McGraw-Hill said that it would immediately update the digital version of the book and correct the next print run.

Dean-Burren applauded the change on social media.

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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