Monday, October 05, 2015

Historical Errors

Thinkprogress has a piece where a mother who's also a historian challenges a Texas schoolbook used by her child.  From the piece:

"A Texas mother spoke out against part of McGraw-Hill’s textbook, “World Geography,” when she noticed that the language erased slavery by calling slaves “workers” and including them in the section “Patterns of Immigration.” One example of the text:
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."
The challenge is to "workers" instead of "slaves", a challenge with which I agree.

But there's another error which passes unnoticed: "millions".

From Gilderlehrman:
 Approximately 11,863,000 Africans were shipped across the Atlantic, with a death rate during the Middle Passage reducing this number by 10-20 percent. As a result between 9.6 and 10.8 million Africans arrived in the Americas.
About 500,000 Africans were imported into what is now the U.S. between 1619 and 1807--or about 6 percent of all Africans forcibly imported into the Americas. About 70 percent arrived directly from Africa.

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