Some private school textbooks paint an inaccurate picture of history by teaching that Africans enslaved in America arrived via immigration, asserting the civil rights movement was plagued by Black supremacist ideology, and claiming the Black Lives Matter movement is to blame for racial discord.
The revealing analysis by The Guardian comes as policymakers around the country spar over teachings about critical race theory and other anti-racist teachings in American classrooms.
The Guardian reviewed dozens of textbooks produced by Christian textbook publishers Abeka, Bob Jones University Press and Accelerated Christian Education. The publishers are some of the most common sources for textbooks in private schools across the country.
Although its not clear exactly how many students the books have reached, Abeka claims on its website that its textbooks have reached more than one million school children and Accelerated Christian Education website claims its materials are used in more than 140 countries.
One book claims Malcolm X was the most prominent “Black supremacist” of the civil rights era, while another teaches that Nelson Mandela helped push for a system of “radical affirmative action” in South Africa.
A section about the Civil War in an Accelerated Christian Education high school textbook states, that the “end of slavery in this country was a legitimate goal, but much was done in the name of abolition that was as evil as the institution of slavery itself.”
A segment on “Black Immigration” refers to slavery and notes that “Not all immigrants have come to America willingly.”
The book also sympathizes with the plight of white slaveowners in the South upon the abolition of slavery.
“Under radical reconstruction, the south suffered. Great southern leaders and much of the old aristocracy were unable to vote or hold office. The result was that state legislatures were filled with illiterate or incompetent men. Northerners who were eager to make money or gain power during the crisis rushed to the south … For all these reasons, reconstruction led to graft and corruption and reckless spending.
In retaliation, many southerners formed secret organizations to protect themselves and their society from anarchy. Among these groups was the Ku Klux Klan, a clandestine group of white men who went forth at night dressed in white sheets and pointed white hoods.”
A representative of Accelerated Christian Education didn’t respond to The Guardian’s request for comment.
An Abeka textbook, without addressing the brutality of slavery, alluded to the economic upsides of the institution, saying, “slaves seemed to be better investments than indentured servants.”
Another book produced by Abeka claims the Black Lives Matter movement is the cause of discord between police officers and civilian communities.
“Groups such as black lives matter (BLM) sharpened the divide between police and citizen, and black and white, with divisive rhetoric,” the book states.
An Abeka representatve declined to comment.
Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of the book “How to Be an Antiracist,” responded last year to a passage in the book “The American Pageant,” which described enslaved Africans brought to America as “immigrants.”
Kendi explained, “To refer to them (Africans) again as immigrants insinuates that they chose to come,” adding, “The African people who were almost totally … forced to come and certainly did not want to come to the United States in chains.”
The Africans were listed beside German, Scottish and Dutch immigrants who entered the country voluntarily.