Textbook publisher McGraw-Hill will rewrite a section in one of its books after a Houston-area mother complained that it whitewashes the role of slavery in bringing Africans to America, according to a report from CNN.
Last week, Roni Dean-Burren expressed on Facebook her frustration that her son’s ninth-grade geography textbook described the African slave trade as bringing millions of “workers” to America.
"The Atlantic slave trade brought millions of workers ... notice the nuanced language there. Workers implies wages ... yes?" she wrote in an online post quoted by CNN, which added that Dean-Burren's post had drawn 1.4 million page views as of Sunday.
McGraw-Hill heard the outcry and, according to CNN, concluded that the wording doesn't meet their textbook standards.
"We believe we can do better," McGraw-Hill posted on its Facebook page Friday, CNN reported. "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." These edits will appear in the online version of the book immediately and will be included in the book's next printing.
Still, some believe the changes aren't enough and are asking the publisher to recall existing versions of the book and replace copies for schools that can't afford to buy new books, CNN claimed.
"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 page quoted in the CNN article. "Kids will continue to read the same incorrect & inconsiderate information for probably the next 5 to 10 years! There must be a better way!"
Texas has become a battleground in the fight over textbook changes, according to CNN, with some saying the state’s large influence in textbook publishing cedes too much ground to conservative viewpoints on subjects such as climate change, religious liberty and slavery.