Meet Roni Dean-Burren, a mother who challenged McGraw Hill ,one of the largest publishers in the world for their intentional mischaracterization of slaves as “workers.” The publisher agreed to change the mischaracterization after the support that Dean-Burren garnered online. This mom has just shown the world that the voice of one person does matter and that you too can make a difference.
Dean-Burren (pictured) received a text message from her son, Coby Burren, last week, that included a photo of a page in the Texas ninth grader’s McGraw-Hill textbook. The image showed a United States map, in a section of the book titled “Patterns of Immigration,” and a caption that 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 shared the text message on Facebook Wednesday, noting “The Atlantic slave trade brought millions of workers…notice the nuanced language there. Workers implies wages…yes?” The photo has more than 1,300 likes and more than 3,700 shares on Facebook.
On Thursday, Dean-Burren posted a video showing the textbook pages, highlighting a section that describes English and European people who came to the U.S. to work as indentured servants, explaining that they worked “for little or no pay.” Dean-Burren continues, “They say that about English and European people, but there is no mention of Africans working as slaves or being slaves. It just says we were workers.”
Along with the video, which has been shared more than 45,000 times and received more than 9,000 likes, Dean-Burren wrote: “Erasure is real y’all!!! Teacher your children the truth!!!”
Still, Dean-Burren acknowledged the textbook victory on Facebook, giving the credit to her son Coby. “This is change people!!! This is why your voices matter!!! You did this!!!!” she wrote on Friday. “And to my sweet boy, my only son….my man man Coby Burren…look at your power son!!!”
To read the entire story visit McGraw-Hill to Rewrite Textbook After Mom’s Complaint
Image Source: Chicago Tribuen