McGraw-Hill to Rewrite Textbook After Complaint
Textbook publisher McGraw-Hill will rewrite a section in one of its textbooks that refers to slavery as “immigration” and slaves as “workers,” CNN reports.
The decision comes after Roni Dean-Burren took to Facebook last week to vent her frustration over the wording of a passage that whitewashes the role of slavery in bringing Africans to the United States.
Dean-Burren’s post garnered a lot of attention, along with a subsequent video that drew 1.4 million page views on Facebook as of Monday.
McGraw-Hill took to Facebook to address the issue on Friday.
“We believe we can do better,” the company posted. “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 edits will immediately appear on the online version of the book. They will be included in the book’s next printing.
“This is change people!!! This is why your voices matter!!!” Dean-Burren posted on Facebook.
Some are asking for the publisher to recall existing versions of the book and replace copies for the schools that cannot afford new books.
“Thanks for the gesture, but that doesn’t help the school districts that can’t afford to purchase new textbooks!” reads one comment on McGraw-Hill’s Facebook post. “Kids will continue to read the same incorrect & inconsiderate information for probably the next 5-10 years! There must be a better way!”
Others say the publisher’s revised language still does not accurately describe the horrors of slavery.
“Forced migration? I believe the words you’re looking for are kidnapped and stolen,” wrote a commenter.