A Texas mother took to YouTube to voice her frustrations after textbook giant McGraw-Hill rewrote slavery out of history. In a section titled “Passage of Immigration,” Roni Dean-Burren noticed that slaves were referred to as “workers” and “immigrants.”
The passage reads, “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 Atlantic slave trade brought millions of workers … notice the nuanced language there. Workers implies wages … yes?” Dean-Burren wrote on her Facebook.
Dean-Burren notes in her video that the Textbook also includes a passage saying that many Europeans and English people “came over to work as indentured servants for little or no pay.”
McGraw Hill heard of the backlash and took to Facebook to respond to Dean-Burren, announcing it will be updating the textbook in its next print and in digital format.
“We believe we can do better,” McGraw-Hill posted on its Facebook. “To communicate these facts more clearly, we will update this caption to describe the arrival of African slaves in the U.S. as a forced migration and emphasize that their work was done as slave labor.”
This isn’t the first time Texas textbooks have received backlash for revisionism – ten university scholars accused Texas textbooks of including biased statements about Islam, Native Americans, capitalism, religion and the Civil War.
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About the AuthorSetareh Baig is a writer and editor. She recently graduated from Florida State University and served as the editor-in-chief of the school's newspaper, the FSView & Florida Flambeau. You can follow her on Twitter at @heysetareh_.
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“Our Generation’s Berlin Wall”: Young Miami Reacts To Castro’s Death
MIAMI- Alberto Paradela and Victor de Zarraga stood near the bakery section of Versailles, the famed Cuban restaurant that serves as an anchor point for the diaspora forced out by the brutalities of Fidel Castro.
The two young men, both 23, took deep puffs from cigars while staring out in awe of the scene before them.
“This is our generation’s Berlin Wall,” Paradela said.
They both looked out on SW 8th St, better known as Calle Ocho in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami.
Around them were thousands of people. Some young, many old. Most were Cubans, and everyone seemed to be in a joyous mood.
A constant melodic buzz of car horns, mixed with the occasional vuvuzela burst, drum line tap, and air horn squeal made the street sound like a sporting event.
But for Paradela and de Zarraga, this was personal.
Not only are there the descendants of one of the first flights from Castro’s despotism in 1961, they both also graduated from Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in southern Miami.
Castro was himself a grad from Belen when it was located in Havana.
But when he came to power, Castro forced the Jesuit religious community from the island. They relocated to Miami where the school became a breeding ground for anti-Castro thought and action.
“Fidel was taught the same things as us but he used it for evil,” Paradela said. “This is a night where we can move past that history.”
“It’s still a journey but a giant motivating for progress [moving forward,” de Zarraga said of the impact on Castro’s death.
While this younger generation of Cuban Americans feels excited about Castro’s death, there is also a level of surrealness.
“It’s very hard for us because our families talk about a Cuba that doesn’t exist anymore,” Paradela said.
Mauricio Pons was born and raised in Miami like Paradela and de Zarraga. He is very politically active, serving as the president of the FIU college Republicans.
“Most of us have been waiting for this for a very long time,” Pons said. “We’ll go out and celebrate the death of a tyrant and the opportunity for the process for Cuba to become a democratic state.”
Some of the young Cuban Americans in the crowd wore pro-Trump shirts and “Make America Great Again” hats.
However, one recent college graduate whose parents were born in Cuba, and didn’t want his name published, said that he felt a bit uncomfortable about the celebration of a man’s death. He said that he is a member of the Green Party.
A few hours later as the steady rain slowed, Paola and Carla Llaneza banged on pots and pans in front of the entrance of Versailles. Sisters, their parents were born in Cuba.
Paola heard the news of Castro’s death while watching Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them in a theatre. She jumped up and came to 8th Street.
“We’ve been waiting for years,” Paola said. “We thought it was going to be like this.”
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This Is The Oldest Building In The Western Hemisphere. We Bet You’ve Never Heard Of ItBy Contributor
By Nick Moncy
Secluded within the groves surrounding West Dixie Highway lies a Florida Heritage site you may not have heard of – the Ancient Spanish Monastery.
A North Miami Beach relic, it boasts historic structures containing Romanesque and pre-Gothic architecture. Stretching from as far back as the 12th century, conserved artifacts take visitors into the life of medieval monks in northern Spain.
It is now considered by many historians to be the oldest building in the whole of the Western Hemisphere.
But how this wonder ended up in Miami is a long story
Here’s the condensed version:
From 1133 to 1141 AD, the monastery and cloisters were constructed in Sacramenia, a city in the province of Segovia, Spain. Originally dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it was renamed to recognize its renowned abbot Bernard of Clairvaux after his canonization.
The Cloisters housed Cisterian monks for seven centuries following, after which a social shift in the 1830s had the buildings converted into a simple granary and stable.
In 1925, famous publisher William Randolph Hearst acquired the Cloisters and the Refectory (the original Monastery section still stands overseas). Both were disassembled, numbered by part, packed into about 11,000 wooden boxes and shipped to the United States. After they lay in a warehouse in Brooklyn, New York for almost a decade, most parts were sold at an auction after the Great Depression ruined Hearst financially; the remainders were sent back to storage.
In 1952, Ohio businessmen William Edgemon and Raymond Moss bought the remainder of the stones looking to create a tourist hotspot in Miami.
It proved to be a challenge because the workmen involved in the grand move thirty years ago did not replace the stones in their original numbered boxes. Reconstructing the Cloisters took 19 months and almost $1.5 million (surpassing $13 million in today’s currency). TIME magazine called the effort “the biggest jigsaw puzzle in history”.
After financial struggles in 1964, the Cloisters were once again up for sale. Wealthy banker and Episcopal donor Col. Robert Pentland, Jr. swept in and purchased them for the Episcopal Bishop of Florida. The monastery now houses the Episcopal Church of St. Bernard de Clairveux.
Largely in thanks to Edgemon and Moss’ contribution, this story physically unravels across the space in several parts.
At the front of the property is a moderately-sized lobby area full of ancient artifacts. Though they are protected by glass cases and velvet rope, one can whiff a hint of rust. There are corbels used to support the weight of wall fixtures, a hearse that carried dead bodies, even a hymnarium propped on a refectory table that monks read from while gathered for meals. There are cabinets covered with fresco paintings by a student of Raphael’s done alla prima, a rapid style that required oil paintings to be completely finished before the first layer of paint dried. At the back of the room there is even a full suit of armor from the 1600s.
Double doors open to an outdoor path toward the monastery, an escape from the onslaught of outdated vocabulary. An iron gate introduces the spacious, elegantly-pruned garden, a nursery before the Monastery’s arrival. It resembles a maze: narrow, crunchy gravel paths lead visitors all over.
The Ram’s Head Pillar, Baptismal Font and donated statues of Jesus and Mary stand scattered throughout the garden. One shaded path at the back right goes to the refectory section of the Monastery, which holds the chapel in which North Miami Beach Anglicans congregate.
Getting back on the central path leads to the Cloisters’ foreboding wooden doors. Above them is a detailed relief of Mary’s crowning by angels; lions representing Leon and Castille are visible in the scene. A metal bell up above once clanged boisterously to summon monks for meals long ago, but these days there is only tranquil silence.
The atmosphere inside the Cloisters is still, accompanied only by echoed footsteps and occasional chanting. Its main area is composed of hallways and chambers bordering a roofless, central courtyard. The contrast between the illuminated patio and the dark columned hallways is an aesthetic phenomenon that illustrates the Cloisters’ harmony with Miami tropics. In the halls on opposite corners are life-size statues of both Alfonso VII, king of Leon and Castille during the Monastery’s construction, and his grandson Alfonso VIII. In all, this is certainly hallowed ground.
Though the Monastery is a masterpiece from the past, its history continues to grow today. The twenty-acre attraction alone contains about one thousand unique plant and tree species. Fifty-thousand people visit annually, with sixty-five percent of that crowd being tourists. It also draws in members of the northern Miami community: last year, nine hundred public, private and homeschooled students received educational programming that met Florida’s curricular standards. The Ancient Spanish Monastery Foundation non-profit recognizes local leaders and outstanding figures each year at its Legacy Gala and pours all its proceeds back toward the preservation efforts for the site.
If you stop by for a tour, one figure you’re sure to meet is Tania Witten. An employee at the Monastery since 1999, she organizes bridal events. “It gets crazy here sometimes,” Witten said in an interview. “This place is used for weddings, quinceñeras, and even yoga four times a week.” She also noted the intriguing fact that despite its prominence, the Monastery and Cloisters are hidden gems to most North Miami Beach natives. “No one knows about us, really, even people who’ve lived here for fifty years. They’d say, ‘I never knew this was here.’”
Photo Credits: Nick Moncy/ RISE NEWS.
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