McGraw-Hill Apologizes for TX Textbook Referring to Slaves as ‘Workers’

The textbook publishing giant McGraw Hill apologized this week after a Texas mother discovered slaves being referred to as “workers” in a geography textbook.

Here’s the passage in question:

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 1.59.52 PM

And while it does say “Atlantic Slave Trade” at the top there, Roni Dean-Burren and her son were still bothered by the reference to slaves simply as “workers.”

Dean-Burren posted online, “The Atlantic slave trade brought millions of workers…notice the nuanced language there. Workers implies wages…yes?” This particular textbook is used in a lot of Texas schools.

After she posted her complaint, it blew up on social media and ended up attracting the attention of the book’s publisher McGraw-Hill. CEO David Levin apologized in a letter to employees:

We are deeply sorry that the caption was written this way. While the book was reviewed by many people inside and outside the company, and was made available for public review, no one raised concerns about the caption. Yet, clearly, something went wrong and we must and will do better.

[image via screengrab]

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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