Posted on February 5, 2024

Target Pulls Magnet Kit That Misidentified Three Black Leaders

Emily Schmall, New York Times, February 3, 2024

Target has pulled from its stores an educational magnet collection that misidentified three Black leaders, after a high school history teacher called attention to the errors in a TikTok video.

In the video, the teacher, Tierra Espy, said she bought the “Civil Rights Magnetic Learning Activity,” a tin case of 26 magnets and informational cards featuring illustrations of Black leaders and slogans from the civil rights movement, for Black History Month, which is celebrated in the United States in February.

“I noticed some discrepancies, like, as soon as I opened this,” she said in the video, pointing out that a magnet labeled Carter G. Woodson, a scholar of African American history, actually pictured W.E.B. DuBois, the American intellectual and civil rights leader who wrote the essay collection “The Souls of Black Folk.”

“Peep the ’stache,” she said, referring to a picture of DuBois on the internet with the same mustache as the figure in the magnet mislabeled as Woodson. “They got the name wrong.”

She also pointed to a magnet that was mislabeled as DuBois. It actually pictured Booker T. Washington, the reformist educator who led the founding of the college that became Tuskegee University. Similarly, a magnet labeled Washington actually depicted Woodson, she said.

Ms. Espy said the accompanying cards also misidentified Woodson, DuBois and Washington.