After attending a presentation at the historical past of housing segregation and race, figure Wendy Jacobson made up our minds to peer what her son’s AP historical past textbook needed to say at the topic. She had discovered, as Richard Rothstein explains in “Our Space Divided: What U.S. Faculties Do not Train Approximately U.S.-Taste Apartheid,” that,

Probably the most worst examples of our ancient blindness is the well-liked trust that our endured residential racial segregation, North and South, is “de facto,” now not the results of particular executive coverage however as an alternative the result of personal prejudice, financial inequality, and private option to self-segregate. However actually, our prime metropolitan spaces have been segregated through executive motion.

Rothstein critiqued textbooks revealed via TCI (Historical past Alive!), Pearson-Prentice Corridor, and Holt McDougall for his or her passive, deceptive language. One of the most books states, “African American citizens discovered themselves pressured into segregated neighborhoods” without a additional rationalization of ways this came about or how public coverage used to be accountable.

Jacobson used to be dismayed to determine that her son’s Pearson textbook adopted the similar trend of mythmaking. She wrote a letter to the editor on the Washington Publish,

July nine, 2015

The July 6 entrance-web page article “A lecture room fight over deciphering the Civil Conflict” presented a few wish that we would possibly see adjustments to curricula in this matter. Whilst we are revising textbooks, allow’s right kind different issues.

The time period “slaves” will have to be uniformly changed with “enslaved folks” so culpability for this heinous follow rests the place it belongs (The Publish, too, will have to decide to this modification: language issues). And allow’s prevent whitewashing the federally approved housing discrimination that used to be–and nonetheless is–one of the crucial foremost reasons of race-primarily based financial inequality lately.

bythepeople_pearsonMy D.C. Public Faculties top schooler’s Complex Placement U.S. historical past textbook [Via The Folks: A Historical past of america (AP Variation) by way of James W. Fraser (Pearson, 2015)] refers to purposefully segregated suburban tendencies akin to Levittown, N.Y., as “a dream come actual” and characterizes mandated housing discrimination practices as considerate and discretionary, through which “native officers of the Federal Housing Authority regularly made up our minds that blacks have been a bad possibility and so denied loans to them.”

Till long run generations now not most effective recognize the real details approximately their historical past but in addition bear in mind how each delicate and overt distortions of the ones information have constructed their assumptions and attitudes, we will be able to by no means transfer ahead.

Wendy B. Jacobson, Washington

We applaud Jacobson for exposing and confronting the prejudice in her son’s textbook and inspire others to do the similar. Please ship us letters you or your scholars write.

Those textbook omissions and distortions are why the Zinn Training Undertaking posts classes without spending a dime get right of entry to via academics to “train out of doors the textbook.” A very good lesson in this matter is “Stealing House: Eminent Area, City Renewal, and the Lack of Group” through Linda Christensen.

© 2016 Zinn Training Venture

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