Spearheads Open Letter to Barnes & Noble Spearheads Open Letter to Barnes & Noble

Business Wire

HOUSTON -- April 02, 2013 issues the following open letter on behalf of the individuals
listed below:

Dear Barnes & Noble:

It has come to our attention that Barnes & Noble is incorrectly categorizing
some of its books and we wanted to address this matter publicly.

As you know, the institution of American slavery lasted nearly 250 years, from
1619 when the first Africans were brought here as indentured servants until
1865, when the Civil War and the Constitution’s Thirteenth Amendment was
enacted. In fact, the institution of slavery was one of the major catalysts
for why the Civil War was fought.

However, in Barnes & Noble stores, books about slavery are not included in
your U.S. History section but, instead, are placed in African American or
Cultural Studies. This is not only historically inaccurate, but has the effect
of relegating the horrific institution of slavery to a mere footnote in
history. Our ancestors deserve better.

Slave labor built this country for at least two hundred years. The White House
and the U.S. Capitol were both built by slaves. Moreover, although the
institution of slavery is largely associated with the Southern states, it also
existed in the North, throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. The states of
New Jersey and New York, for example, did not abolish slavery until the early
1800s. In other words, slavery is intricately woven into the entire fabric of
American history.

Barnes & Noble is certainly not alone in its decision to minimize the impact
of slavery on U.S. history. History textbooks in the nation’s public schools
give the subject only limited, cursory attention and little analysis. However,
as the descendants of slaves, we encourage you to acknowledge this gross error
and be among the first institutions to correct it.

We encourage you to make this change in all of your brick-and-mortar stores,
sooner rather than later, so that your customers will not continue to be
confused about the facts.


Willie and Gwen Richardson   Troy Johnson       Wintrell Pittman
Houston, TX                    New York, NY          Memphis, TN
Patricia Enyi                  Leon Mann             Dwan Reed
Pearland, TX                   Atlanta, GA           Spring, TX
Joylynn Jossel                 Wanda Gunter          Stella Alexander
Reynoldsburg, OH               Aurora, CO            Missouri City, TX
Valerie Vance-Mackall          Latorial Faison       Edward Jordan
Clinton, SC                    Seoul, Korea          Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Jacqueline Morris
Houston, TX

Gwen Richardson, (281) 444-4265
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