Pearson Erases Paul Robeson from History: Students Write 100 Letters to Challenge Omission

Pearson Erases Paul Robeson from History: Students Write 100 Letters to Challenge Omission


“We have been learning about Paul Robeson. There is nothing about him in our textbooks! He should be in there because he was an African-American who stood up for equal rights and I want to have me and other kids learn about him more in our music classes. If my music teacher didn’t have any books or videos about Paul Robeson, we wouldn’t have learned anything! Please put him in the textbooks you publish.” — Keshav M-H., 3rd grade


“I believe we should have Paul Robeson in our music textbooks. We have learned a lot about Paul Robeson, like he got his passport taken. He sang the song “Old Man River,” and he changed the lyrics so they could say how he dislikes the segregation in our country. We are pleading for you to put him in our textbooks, do it for us, other teachers, other students, and people around the world. If I didn’t have [our music teacher] I would not know a thing about Paul Robeson.” — Masai J., 3rd grade

Author: Angela Grant

I am a first generation Jamaican immigrant whose experiences and accomplishments were made possible by the courage, sacrifices and the heroic acts of many whose bodies have rotted away in unmarked graves. Those are my heroes. Their sacrifices and death paved the way for my children and I. Failure to Listen is a token of my eternal gratitude. Failure to Listen is a tribute those generations of unmarked graves occupied by people of all races whose ultimate sacrifice of life opened the door for me and others, THANK YOU. Failure to Listen uses cultural lenses to appreciate and understand the relationships between current events and our values, beliefs and attitudes. Culture is everything without it we are nothing. Failure to Listen will take you on a journey to recognize the beauty of our differences as the seeds to creativity, innovation and resolving disparities. By sharing my personal and professional experiences, I hope to do justice to the perspectives of those who are rarely heard or listened to. This site is not to incite anger but rather to provoke thought. It is my hope that Failure to Listen will work to foster intergroup dialogues and motivate readers to step outside the box and get to know ALL PEOPLE. In the spirit of Martin Luther King, let's join hands and remember his famous speech about a dream... A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead

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