Publisher To Change Textbook Describing Slaves From Africa As ‘Workers’

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The publisher of a high school world geography textbook announced on Friday it would change the wording of a caption that described slaves brought to America as “workers.”

McGraw-Hill Education posted a statement on Facebook addressing the caption and wrote 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,” the post continued. Here’s the statement in its entirety:

The caption had gained attention after Coby Burren, a student from Houston, shared a photograph of his text book’s caption with his mother, a professor at the University of Houston, according to the The New York Times.

The caption was part of a chapter called, “Patterns of Immigration.”

Here’s the text his mom, Roni Dean-Burren, said he sent her:

Dean-Burren also posted a video about her opposition to the photo online.

“Inside the book, which is a little scary to me, you have all of these people who are seemingly wise people,” Dean-Burren said, panning over the contributors of the textbook. “All of them have that little PhD behind their name. These are all people, all professionals who said ‘yes’ to this book.”

Here’s the video, which garnered attention online:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sara Jerde is a newswriter based in New York. Her bylines have appeared in The Star-Ledger, The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Columbus Dispatch. She graduated from Ohio University. Send emails to sara@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow her @SaraJerde.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK