Mississippi Governor Attacks Teaching of People’s History

The school day begins with a salute to the flag, Rochester, New York, March 1943. By Ralph Amdursky. Source: Library of Congress

Shortly before the election, right wing scholars at the White House Conference on American History took aim at the Zinn Education Project and the New York Times 1619 Project. President Trump singled out historian Howard Zinn for attack: “Our children are instructed from propaganda tracts, like those of Howard Zinn, that try to make students ashamed of their own history.”

President Trump has been defeated, but the attack on teaching people’s history continues.

Please donate to help us expose how this campaign is playing out in Mississippi —
and to offer Mississippi educators an alternative.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves’ new budget calls for $3 million for a “Patriotic Education Fund,” which declares that “the United States is the greatest country in the history of the world,” and promises to reward schools that combat the “revisionist history” that is “poisoning a generation.” Reeves’ budget proposal denounces the supposed “indoctrination in far-left socialist teachings that emphasize America’s shortcomings,” and demands that the curriculum instead focus on “the incredible accomplishments of the American Way.”

The language in the new budget echoes legislation proposed in Arkansas in 2017, which would have banned books by Howard Zinn in public schools. Teachers and librarians throughout the state responded with a resounding no to censorship, and the bill failed to get out of committee.

With more than 400 teachers in Mississippi signed up at the Zinn Education Project to access our people’s history lessons, the governor’s budget will face a similar challenge.


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