Gentrifying Black History

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Corporatizing black history.

I AM AN EDUCATOR

http://progressive.org/sites/default/public_files/Man_sitting_at_MLK_Jr._Memorial_Library.jpg

Originally published at The Progressive magazine
By Gerald Lenoir and Jesse Hagopian

Thanks to a long history of redlining, formerly black neighborhoods in cities around the country are continuously disappearing under the rapacious churn of financial real estate interests. But city blocks in prime locations aren’t the only things being lost. Gentrification is also happening in our classrooms and books, pushing out the past, erasing the lives and struggles of African Americans from our collective memory.

Take A Birthday Cake for George Washington, for example, a children’s book by Ramin Ganeshram published by Scholastic. In it, smiling, happy slaves wrap their arms around their master, the first U.S. president. In a Texas high school geography textbook published by McGraw-Hill, enslaved Africans are described as “workers,” rather than slaves, and placed in a section titled “Patterns of Immigration”—as if they came here looking for a better life.  In Jefferson County…

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4 thoughts on “Gentrifying Black History

  1. This is just too horrible for words. And I see no way to stop it because the sad fact is that much of America has already gone through this transformation. It is everywhere! Soon, we will be just like the Indians. I see it coming!

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