It was hard to understand how those people, who looked like me, were singing while happily picking cotton in the hot southern sun.

But my 11th grade U.S. History book, in 1953, had vivid pictures depicting happy dark people and the one paragraph, with however few sentences it had about slavery, made the visual true.

That was my thinking at the age of sixteen.

Why would I have thought the textbooks, teachers, principals, counselors or any of the other “professionals” in charge of my education had a bizarre scheme under their belts?.

Well, they did. And those in charge of educating the children in America still do.

What’s this?

Sixty-two years later, McGraw-Hill, who is probably the same publisher of my old U.S. History book, has been called out for spreading propaganda about slavery.

How do these publishers get away with this kind of misinformation? Where’s a review committee?

“Oops” says McGraw-Hill’s spokesperson.

The 15-year-old Houston teenager who was well enough informed about his heritage  to know, when he spotted the questionable passage in his high school geography book, that stated Africans had not been brought to America as “workers,” but had, in truth as he knew it to be, been brought here as slaves.

The teenager, Coby Burren, brought this blatant lie to the attention of his mother and she promptly moved forward to halt the use of McGraw-Hill Education’s textbook.

Good for Mom~

But stopping the use of this example of a flawed presentation of slavery is not taking care of the real problem.

McGraw- Hill apologizes, McGraw- Hill claims to correct the inaccuracies. But McGraw- Hill will still be selling millions of textbooks all across the country and just how much and what kind of misinformation might they still be disseminating?

Oops is not  enough.

Let’s call it what it is: McGraw- Hill is the Fox watching the hen house. They can’t be trusted and I know this because I met them, or perhaps it was their counterpart, in my 11th grade US History class in 1953. And here they are  still marketing lies and propaganda.

On behalf of the millions of misinformed students in this land of the free and home of the  misinformed, the Burren family needs the ACLU!

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Jean Troy

    I agree, I had such a warped since of history when I left high school in 1957, I thought slavery had ended in 1865 with the end of the civil war, and we all went back to being good Americans. So I sang with gusto the Star Spangled Banner, I pledged alligence to the flag and thought my parents were just grumpy about racism because there was nothing in our text that could support their claims. Now at 76 years, WOW do i now know what a bunch of liesI have been told. I applaud the family that took Mcgraw Hill to task. and I agree there needs to be a moderator reading the proofs before the book can be published to make sure our children learn the truth.

  2. Greta Pruitt

    Amazing that a book with that false information would pass the group of reviewers at the State Level. McGraw Hill needs to financially reimburse districts that purchased this textbook with lies! And what about District reviewers – and where were the teacher users of this erroneous textbook?
    A whole line of insensitive, lying educators!

  3. -Nate

    Greta ;

    It wasn’t by accident that this book was published and bought , the South still supports this B.S. view along with ‘ the northern war of aggression ‘ when THE SOUTH ATTACKED FIRST .


  4. Roderick

    McGraw-Hill can never be considered a trusted source for text books for me, they canNOT redeem themselves from this. They allowed for a text book to get out with the potential to deceive the children of parents who rely on schools to raise their children for the most part.

    No self respecting company seeking to inform children for academic purposes would seek to misinform them (or approve of such misinformation for print).

    Slavery does not equal migrant workers, they are two very different things and all the things that happened to many slaves aren’t things that would happen to workers that have a choice. Furthermore, who in the world would create an underground railroad to escape their… job?

    These books should only be allowed in private schools where the parents pay and acknowledge such fictional information is being fed to their kids. It should not be forced upon kids in a public school setting (or anyone without them knowing the information isn’t fully factual).

    The FCAT & TCAT are no better in my opinion, because no child should end up with a certificate of completion that completely disregards stellar grades. Contractors chomp at the bit to manufacture those booklets, and CTB/McGraw-Hill was once that a contractor of these life affecting tests.

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