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White Washing African American History Still Can’t Hide It

White Washing African American History Still Can’t Hide It

white washing african american history 2015 imagesHow can a man change history? By having control over the material from which children learn. Because if you can change the way history is taught, you can eventually erase it or make it a distant memory of the olden days when people believed fables.

That’s what’s happening with a textbook written and published by Mcgraw-Hill. A Texas mother called them out about whitewashing the realities of slavery by renaming it something far less offensive while making it all the more wrong.

In her son’s world geography textbook, African slaves are called “workers” and “immigrants,” language that is both unsettling and untrue. Are you f-ing kidding me right now?

white washing african american history can't hide it 2015 imageWhy do white people feel the need to erase the history that tells how their ancestors beating, raping, dismembering, killing and disenfranchising black people’s ancestors? No matter how you look at this situation, that is exactly what is being done. My question still remains…why? No one can go back and change it, and we have definitely come a long way so why not tell the narrative from that angle?

Calling Africans brought to America via the slave trade to work on white plantations workers implies that they got paid for the labor in which they toiled. It implies that they had access to a certain group of rights that enabled them to have what every other person living in America had. The word worker garners the notion of adequate working conditions, adequate pay and adequate respect for the work that they did.

Calling Africans brought to America via the slave trade to work on white plantations immigrants implies that they came of their own volition. It implies that they believed that America would be better for them than staying in their native tribe on the motherland, and thus they willingly left all that they knew to make a new white washed land their home.

You see, whatever it is that McGraw-Hill meant or was trying to say in the verbiage they chose to use in these text books is wrong. They cannot take away what was done to black people for hundreds of years.

The thing about renaming; therefore, in a way redefining something as important in our history as slavery is that it is positioned in the minds of those learning it as something that “wasn’t so bad.” Children are impressionable and they take what adults and books say and create something that their minds can understand. Calling African slaves immigrant workers is putting a white washed veil on a time in our country that is shameful and ugly.

It makes it okay to children what happened to slaves in America. It is less threating and, therefore, is framed as an event in our history that was necessary to the survival of our new nation. Because the “workers” wanted to be here and saw it best to work for the white man and move his family on his master’s land so it would be easier to get to and from their jobs. Bull shit.

The whitewashing of African American’s history in the United States is just as bad as the blatant racism that white people still openly display. Just recently a white man named Gerod Roth posted a selife to his Facebook page of himself and a little black boy who happened to be the child of a co-worker. The comments made by his friends on the picture are purely upsetting and filled with privilege.

“I didn’t know you were a slave owner.”

“Help feed this pour child today.”

“But Massuh, I dindu nuffin.”

Who the hell says these things about a child? The fact these individuals felt it was okay to say these things is disgusting, and shows that white washing and privilege is alive in well. To them, it was joking and having a laugh. To the mother of the child, millions of others and myself it was degrading, unbelievable and enraging.

Is this the result of white washing in America? Children are taught that slaves willingly gave their lives away and white folks on social media calling a black child feral? There is a connection here.

These things are not okay. Did you hear me? They are not okay! McGraw-Hill said it believes they can do better, and they are making edits to the textbook for the next printing, as well as updating the online version of the book immediately. But that isn’t good enough. They honestly should recall all the books and replace them. Drastic measures? Yes. But running the risk of children of all races, backgrounds and ethnicities being taught a white washed lesson about slavery and conducting their lives as such is a greater risk.

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Founder of The CurvyGirl Diva Blog, Rasheda lends her opinions and insights about everything from life, fashion, entertainment and pop culture to various websites and blogs. Her motto “tear shit up” guides her writing and her life.

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