Roni Dean-Burren: Woman Known For Challenging Misrepresentation Of Slavery In Textbooks Passes Away At 46

by Gee NY

In a somber turn of events, Dr Roni Dean-Burren, a prominent Texas mother and advocate for equitable education, passed away at the age of 46 on Nov. 24.

The cause of her death has not been announced, but her impact on the educational community, particularly in championing accurate representations of history, is remembered as her lasting legacy.

A decade ago, Dr. Dean-Burren gained national attention for her vocal criticism of McGraw-Hill, the publisher of her son’s school history book.

The textbook inaccurately referred to Black slaves as “migrants,” a term that sparked outrage for its whitewashing of historical facts.

In a video posted online, Dr. Dean-Burren highlighted the problematic language that portrayed enslaved Africans as voluntary workers on plantations.

Her 2015 Facebook post, accompanying the viral video, exclaimed:

“Many of you asked about my son’s textbook. Here it is. Erasure is real y’all!!! Teach your children the truth!!!”

The incident prompted widespread discussion about the importance of accurate historical representation in educational materials.

Dr. Dean-Burren’s advocacy led to a swift response from McGraw-Hill, which issued a public apology, acknowledging the failure to convey that Africans were forced into migration and labor as slaves.

The incident underscored the significance of nuanced language in shaping historical narratives.

Over the years, Dr. Roni Dean-Burren continued to be a force for positive change in education. She successfully obtained her doctorate degree in education and took on various roles, including serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston, president of the Texas Council of English Language Arts Teachers, and director of Gifted and Talented at the Houston Independent School District.

Tributes to Dr. Dean-Burren’s legacy have flooded social media over the Thanksgiving weekend, with many acknowledging her as a powerhouse in the field, particularly in uplifting Black youth’s learning.

University of Houston Curriculum and Instruction College (CUIN) clinical professor Margaret Hale praised Dr. Dean-Burren’s activism, stating, “Roni epitomizes the idea that one person can make a difference. Her advocacy and passion are a model for all of us in education.”

As the educational community mourns the loss of Dr. Roni Dean-Burren, her impact on promoting truth and accuracy in learning materials will continue to resonate.

Related Posts

Crown App