How New Texas Public School Textbooks Whitewash Slavery

It’s a halfhearted attempt at empathy, and one that is emblematic of the book’s failure to make readers view slavery in the monstrous, despicable light it deserves.

By Bobby Finger | JEZEBEL

In 2010, the Texas Board of Education approved a revised social studies curriculum that, wrote The New York Times that year, would “put a conservative stamp on history” once going into effect in 2015.  In advance of their debut in Texas classrooms in September, it was widely reported that the new textbooks, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Pearson, “whitewashed” slavery by downplaying the brutality of the facts and treating it as a “side issue.”

KEEP READING: Here’s How New Texas Public School Textbooks Write About Slavery

=== In addition I received this email:

Dear Trace,

Schools should be a place for learning, not spreading racist ideology. But not in Texas. This fall, five million children across Texas were given textbooks that profess the same toxic and distorted view of history professed by Dylann Roof and defenders of the Confederate Flag.

These textbooks omit, sanitize, and downplay how horrible slavery was and glorify historical figures who defended slavery. All because the Texas State Board of Education has an agenda to promote a neo-Confederate ideology.

And if the Texas State Board of Education has their way, future textbooks could be even worse than they are right now.1 Future textbooks could remove altogether any references to Jim Crow, the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Codes- the foundation for modern day prison labor exploitation. The half-truths and omissions in these educational materials will teach a new generation of children a deliberately distorted view of American history and the story of race in our country.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. If we put factual and accurate educational materials about Black history in school libraries across Texas, we can give countless students access to the resources they need to learn the truth.

Join the fight to get books about Black history directly into the hands of children across Texas. Help support our work.


1. “Here’s How New Texas Public School Textbooks Write About Slavery,” Jezebel, 9-1-2015

2. “Think Unto Others: The Self-Destructive Impact of Negative Racial Stereotypes” Ohio State University, 7-24-2000

3. “Stereotype Threat and the Intellectual Test Performance of African Americans,” Journal of Personality and Social Pyschology, 1995 is strengthening Black America’s political voice. Using the Internet, we keep our members informed and give them ways to act on pressing issues facing Black people in America. We are united behind a simple, powerful pledge: we will do all we can to make sure all Americans are represented, served and protected — regardless of race or class. 

More »


……and 1800s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations.”

Now, ain’t that a bitch??!!!! The above statement was brought to you by your favorite hosed-down version of history Textbook publisher McGraw-Hill or in other words, the ‘lily-whited assed version of the Africa-to-America slave trade that was really not slavery at all. You see, according to McGraw-Hill, the Africans got into boats when they heard that there were good paying jobs for all and they rowed to the shores of America, got processed, was given citizenship papers and was put to work on ‘agricultural plantations’ that paid them a decent wage. In fact, this version rivals my own. Read my version and then decide which version is more believable. – Shelby Courtland

And another excellent blogger Shelby Courtland has tackled this topic here

TOP IMAGE: Jezebel magazine


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