Textbook Publisher Vows to Revise Book that Calls Slaves Immigrant ‘Workers’

Textbook conglomerate McGraw-Hill is being forced to reissue some of its Texas geography books after a photo went viral last week showing a page that referred to slaves as immigrant “workers.”

Ninth grader Coby Burren sent a photo of the caption to his mother, Roni Dean-Burren,” which 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.” Dean-Burren uploaded the pic to social media, where it garnered thousands of comments from people who felt that the description was minimizing slavery.

“This is erasure,” Dean-Burren, who uploaded the photo to social media, said to the Washington Post. “This is revisionist history—retelling the story however the winners would like it told.”

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McGraw-Hill announced on Facebook last week that it would be reissuing a new electronic version of the textbook and would be editing the caption in the next available version of the textbook, which could potentially take up to 10 years.

“We believe we can do it better,” the Facebook post read. “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.” 

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