Target has removed a book from its Black History Month collection after a customer, high school U.S. history teacher Issa Tete, noticed it mislabeling three significant Civil Rights icons. Tete shared her discovery in a TikTok video, revealing that the "Civil Rights Magnetic Learning Kit" incorrectly identified American sociologist and historian W.E.B. Du Bois as historian and journalist Carter G. Woodson, Woodson as author and educator Booker T. Washington, and Washington as Du Bois.
Expressing her concern in the now-viral video, Tete stated, "I get it, mistakes happen, but this needs to be corrected ASAP... I don't know who's in charge of Target, but these need to be pulled off the shelves, like, immediately." The video has garnered over 850,000 views since its posting on social media.
In response to the issue, Target announced that it would no longer sell the product, both in stores and online. The company also notified Bendon Publishing, the book's publisher, of the errors. Bendon Publishing has yet to respond to NPR's request for comment.
February is Black History Month, a tradition dating back to 1926, officially recognized in 1976, to honor the contributions and sacrifices of African Americans. Target's swift action to rectify the mislabeling aligns with the significance of accurately celebrating and educating about Black history during this commemorative month.
In conclusion, Target's decision to swiftly remove a book from its Black History Month collection, following the mislabeling of three Civil Rights icons, reflects a commitment to accuracy and respect for the significance of the occasion. The incident, brought to light by high school U.S. history teacher Issa Tete through a viral TikTok video, underscored the importance of acknowledging and rectifying historical inaccuracies.
Target's prompt response, discontinuing the sale of the "Civil Rights Magnetic Learning Kit" both in stores and online, demonstrates a commitment to addressing the concerns raised by Tete and ensuring that educational materials align with the spirit of Black History Month. The company's notification to Bendon Publishing, the book's publisher, further emphasizes the collaborative effort to correct the errors.
As February marks a time to honor the contributions and sacrifices of African Americans, Target's decisive action serves as a reminder of the responsibility to accurately portray and educate about Black history. The incident underscores the ongoing need for vigilance in ensuring the authenticity and quality of educational materials, particularly during commemorative months dedicated to celebrating diverse histories and cultures.