Wow! ColorofChange members have already helped us purchase more than 500 books for Texas schools!
We’re delivering racism fighting books like A Young People’s History of the U.S. and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry to Texas schools next week during Banned Book Week to emphasize that the whitewashing of slavery, Jim Crow, and the KKK in our children’s textbooks is not ok! To get the books to the schools on time we need to close out the donation window in 24 hours. Help us make a final push to reach as many schools as possible!
If you’ve already donated, please share this message with your friends and family!
Thanks and Peace,
Texas is using textbooks to distort Black history and deny systemic racism
But we can fight back by putting books about Black history directly into the hands of children across Texas!
Schools should be a place for learning, not spreading racist ideology. But not in Texas. This fall, five million children across Texas were given textbooks that profess the same toxic and distorted view of history professed by Dylann Roof and defenders of the Confederate Flag.
These textbooks omit, sanitize, and downplay how horrible slavery was and glorify historical figures who defended slavery. All because the Texas State Board of Education has an agenda to promote a neo-Confederate ideology.
And if the Texas State Board of Education has their way, future textbooks could be even worse than they are right now.1 Future textbooks could remove altogether any references to Jim Crow, the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Codes- the foundation for modern day prison labor exploitation. The half-truths and omissions in these educational materials will teach a new generation of children a deliberately distorted view of American history and the story of race in our country.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. If we put factual and accurate educational materials about Black history in school libraries across Texas, we can give countless students access to the resources they need to learn the truth. Join the fight to get books about Black history directly into the hands of children across Texas.
The harm that these textbooks do is real. Not only are these whitewashed textbooks inaccurate and racially damaging, they even hurt the academic performance of both Black and white students. Studies have shown that both Black and white students who are exposed to negative racial stereotypes about Black people perform significantly worse on standardized tests.23
The intentional whitewashing of the story of the Civil War happens as early as grade school and not just in the books you read. Right now there are 29 schools in Texas named after generals like Robert E. Lee. There are textbooks and educational videos that glorify politicians like John C. Calhoun, who believed that owning, abusing and exploiting Black humans was key to achieving the American dream and was the architect behind the enforcement of the Indian Removal Act. Too often, the stories and truths of all the Black and Brown folks that built this country are either censored or completely left out of the books we consume from early on in life.
But by getting books like Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and March into Texas school libraries, we can provide the students of Texas the materials they need to learn about the generations of systemic oppression of Black people and counter the negative racial stereotypes that hinder the academic development of Black and white students.
These books are excellent stories detailing the struggle of Black Americans fighting to maintain their integrity, pride, and independence in the face of racism and social injustice throughout our shared history. These books accurately reflect the highs and lows of the Black struggle for freedom and equality, and will give Black and white children throughout Texas the knowledge they need to overcome the half-truths and racist rhetoric in their textbooks.
By clicking any of the below links and donating, you will personally be helping a whole school of children fight back against racism.
Thanks and Peace,
–Brandi, Rashad, Arisha, Evan, Brittaney, and the rest of the ColorOfChange team.
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1. “Here’s How New Texas Public School Textbooks Write About Slavery,” Jezebel, 9-1-2015
2. “Think Unto Others: The Self-Destructive Impact of Negative Racial Stereotypes” Ohio State University, 7-24-2000
3. “Stereotype Threat and the Intellectual Test Performance of African Americans,” Journal of Personality and Social Pyschology, 1995