Target Under Fire for Black History Book: "These Need to Be Pulled Off the Shelves!"
A TikToker noticed the errors and pointed them out in a viral video.
Yesterday marked the beginning of Black History Month, kicking off the annual celebration of Black Americans' achievements, history, and culture during the month of February. Aside from local events and virtual festivities, many big-name retailers introduce new merchandise or special displays to celebrate—but they don't always send the right message. In fact, Target is now under fire for a Black History Month children's book with errors that horrified shoppers.
In a now-viral video, TikToker @issatete called attention to the book, which she said is riddled with mistakes.
"So, I went to get my kids this little magnet learning activity since Black History [Month is] coming up," she says in the Jan. 30 TikTok. "I don't know who's in charge of Target, but these need to be pulled off the shelves, like, immediately."
As a U.S. history teacher, she says she noticed "some discrepancies" with the magnet book Civil Rights Magnetic Learning Activity.
"As soon as I opened this … for starters, this is not Carter G. Woodson, this is W.E.B. Du Bois—peep the 'stache. They got the name wrong," she says, pointing to one of the magnets, and then showing an actual photograph of Du Bois on her tablet.
She then pans to a drawing that's labeled Du Bois, when it's really Booker T. Washington, and a magnet labeled as Washington, which is actually Woodson. She backs up her findings with real photos of the pivotal Civil Rights figures.
"I get it, mistakes happen," the TikToker says. "But this needs to be corrected ASAP."
In the comment section, fellow TikTokers shared @issatete's outrage, calling the errors "infuriating" and "reprehensible."
"This level of incompetency is so outrageous it feels like a joke," one wrote.
"This is really unacceptable," yet another comment reads.
On X, a shopper tagged Target and wrote, "As a children's book author and history major, this is so disappointing. These are well known historical figures. Make it right."
In a statement to Best Life, a Target spokesperson confirmed that the books have been pulled in light of the mistakes.
"We will no longer be selling this product in stores or online. We've also ensured the product's publisher is aware of the errors," the statement reads.
The book's publisher, Bendon, was called out on TikTok, with many commenters stating that the publisher is the one at fault, not Target. Some have also moved on to Bendon's Instagram page, commenting on several posts asking the publisher to address the mistakes in the Black History Month learning activity.
In response to one of the Instagram comments, the company wrote, "We are aware of the misprints & apologize. The files are being corrected, and we appreciate you bringing this to our attention."
Best Life reached out to Bendon for a formal statement, and will update the story when we hear back.
As of yesterday, @issatete said she hadn't been contacted by Target or Bendon regarding the issue.
"I guess they're trying to figure out who's gonna take the blame for this—all right, it is what it is—somebody's gonna be held accountable," she explains in a follow-up video.
The TikToker further notes that she wasn't "blaming Target," but simply wanted them to take the product off of shelves.
"I'm a U.S. history teacher, I was not gonna let that slide," she says. "I wasn't gonna let it slide for my 200 students, and I'm not gonna let it slide for my two babies, who I'm responsible [for] teaching."