Texas Board of Education: Slaves Were 'Unpaid Interns'?

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As shared on Facebook, Dec. 9, 2013:

Texas Board Education Revises Textbooks: Slaves Unpaid Interns
Netlore Archive: Viral 'news article' claims the Texas Board of Education revised its history textbook guidelines such that slaves will now be described as 'unpaid interns.'. Via Facebook

Description: Fake news / Satire
Circulating since: Sep. 2012
Status: False (see details below)

Text example:
Via Newslo.com:

Texas Board of Education Revises Textbooks: Slaves were 'Unpaid Interns'

DALLAS — The Texas Board of Education has drawn scrutiny in recent years for its efforts to revise its curriculum to favor more conservative-friendly versions of history and science. After revising textbooks last year to emphasize Christian influences on the Founding Fathers and introduce Intelligent Design to biology classes, the Board voted nine to zero today to change official nomenclature regarding slavery. In Texas, students will now be taught that slaves were not kidnapped and exploited against their will, but were actually "unpaid interns."

"While African workers were not compensated monetarily," the new curriculum guidelines acknowledge, "by working outside picking cotton, they gained valuable career experience and were provided with ample networking opportunities."

- Full Text -


Analysis: The article above was originally published on the satirical website Newslo.com on Sep. 27, 2012. Though it was subsequently republished on other blogs and websites as if it's the God's honest truth, it isn't. It's a fake news story spoofing the reactionary bent of the Texas Board of Education and its ideological revisions to state textbook guidelines in recent years.

It is true, mind you, that in 2010 the Board famously considered (but ultimately did not approve) a controversial proposal to replace school textbook references to the U.S. slave trade with the euphemism "Atlantic triangular trade," and this may have served as the direct inspiration for the satirical article before us, but at no time was the absurd and anachronistic notion of describing slaves as "unpaid interns" discussed by Board members.

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Sources and further reading:

Texas Textbook War: 'Slavery' or 'Atlantic Triangular Trade'?
Christian Science Monitor, 19 May 2010

Texas School Board Approves Controversial Textbook Changes
PBS.org, 23 May 2010


Last updated 12/09/13