Target Pulls Product That Misidentifies Civil Rights Leaders

Target, which has an entire microsite dedicated to its vast array of Black History Month offerings, has pulled an item that misidentifies several civil rights leaders.

The mistake was revealed via a TikTok video created by Tierra Espy, a high school U.S. history teacher, which has been viewed 1.2 million times.

The Civil Rights Magnetic Learning Kit includes a case of 26 magnets and informational cards features illustrations of Black leaders and slogans from the civil rights movement. 

Espy, 26, who teaches 11th-grade U.S. history at Cheyenne High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, says she bought the tin of magnets for her children, ages 4 and 6, as an educational tool for Black History Month, which is celebrated in the United States and Canada in February.



Espy, who shares content under the handle @issatete, says she was alarmed to discover the mistakes.

“I was upset because I was like, how does this get to so many people, so many levels, and put into stores, and I caught it in 10 seconds?” Espy tells The New York Times. “Whoa, this is not OK.”

The names of three Civil Rights icons — Carter G. Woodson, W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington — do not match cartoon depictions of their photos.

Target tellsTime in an email: “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.”

In a follow-up TikTok video, posted after reports Target had pulled the product, Espy said she felt compelled to call out the errors.

"I wasn't going to let it slide for my 200 students or my two babies, who I'm responsible for teaching,” she says.

Tete says she noticed mistakes as soon as she opened the toy, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

"This is not W.E.B. Du Bois," she says, pointing to an image erroneously labeled with his name. "This is Booker T. Washington."

“This is not the first time Target has run into issues related to its special collections, according to the Star Tribune. “Last year, Target pulled some items from its Pride collection after backlash and protests over the products.”

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