New Format, Same Old Story?: An Analysis of Traditional and Digital U.S. History Textbook Accounts of Slavery Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Lathan, Jamie Lamont
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • While the distortions and omissions in traditional U. S. history textbook accounts of slavery have been well documented (Alexander, 2002; Brown & Brown, 2010; Banks, 1969; Council on Interracial Books for Children, 1977; Elson, 1964; Gordy & Pritchard, 1995; Kane, 1970; Kochlin, 1998; Washburn, 1997), no study has analyzed digital U. S. history textbooks for those same distortions. Given the digital history affordances of increased accessibility of primary source documents (Lee, 2002), multiple perspectives of historical narratives (Ayers, 1999), flexibility in presentation forms (Cohen & Rosenzweig, 2005), and integration of formerly marginalized historical accounts (Bolick, 2006), it should follow that digital U. S. history textbook accounts of slavery eliminate, or at least minimize, the stereotypes, distortions, and omissions. After conducting a content-based, hypertext-based, image-based, and multimedia-based content analysis of traditional and digital U. S. history textbook accounts of slavery, it is clear that digital U. S. history textbooks do not take advantage of the affordances of digital history and, consequently, continue to perpetuate the distortions and omissions of the traditional textbooks. Using Critical Race Theory, New Literacies, and Hypertext Theory as an interpretive lens, the findings of the study highlight both the disappointment and hope of the untapped potential of digital U. S. history textbooks.
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  • In Copyright
  • Bolick, Cheryl
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2013

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