Parents question school’s slave auction poster assignment

This painting depicts an early Colonial scene in which men are gathered for the sale of a black African man in a slave auction. (AP Photo)

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (AP) — Posters for slave auctions created by fifth-graders have been removed from the wall of a New Jersey elementary school hallway after some parents questioned the assignment.

The South Orange School District is planning a community meeting to discuss whether the assignment is appropriate for fifth-graders.

NJ.com reports that Superintendent John Ramos said in a note to parents that the project at South Mountain Elementary School is part of a larger Colonial America unit that’s been used for 10 years.

One poster listed the names of available slaves, who included 12-year-old Anne, “a fine housegirl.” Another poster says, “All slaves raised on the plantation of John Carter,” and specifies that only cash is accepted.


Ramos says the projects should have been accompanied by an explanation.

 

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