How Texas Teaches History

An interesting article on a familiar topic but this article delves into the use of language to obfuscate historical truth. Below is a passage from the article about some of the phrasing from a textbook commonly used in Texas.

Families were often broken apart when a family member was sold to another owner.

“Note the use of the passive voice in the verbs ‘were broken apart’ and ‘was sold.’ If the sentence had been written according to the principles of good draftsmanship, it would have looked like this: Slave owners often broke slave families apart by selling a family member to another owner. A bit more powerful, no? Through grammatical manipulation, the textbook authors obscure the role of slave owners in the institution of slavery.”

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