PragerU Kids Is Twisting Black History One Video at a Time

PragerU Kids Is Twisitng Black History One Video at a Time

Content warning: This blog discusses historical racial violence.

If you keep up with public education, you’ve probably heard of PragerU by now. Maybe you even followed the controversy when far-right State Board of Education (SBOE) member Julie Pickren falsely claimed it was coming to Texas classrooms last year.

Let’s get it straight: PragerU is not an accredited academic institution. It’s a far-right media company that pushes misinformation. There are countless videos in the PragerU library intended for kids and adults alike that spew disinformation, minimize racism, and erase the contributions and stories of Black people in the U.S. Below, we’ve highlighted a few of the most troubling videos that are selling anti-Black, far-right propaganda — specifically targeting young, impressionable minds.

Five PragerU Kids Videos that Twist Black History

We’re not linking the videos so that we don’t give them the satisfaction of more views.
PragerU Kids Propaganda - Leo & Layla's History Adventures with Frederick Douglass

“Leo & Layla’s History Adventures with Frederick Douglass” twists the abolitionist’s words, making disgusting claims that slavery was “a compromise” while admonishing movements to remedy systemic oppression today.

PragerU Kids Propaganda - Guess or Mess: Andrew Jackson

“Guess or Mess: Andrew Jackson” claims Andrew Jackson “led Native Americans and former slaves to fight together as soldiers against the British” — conveniently leaving out the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, where Jackson’s troops killed nearly 600 Creeks. It also neglects to mention that he promised freedom to any enslaved people who fought with him in the Battle of New Orleans, only to go back on his word after victory. The video’s insensitivity doesn’t end there, but continues by making light of tarring and feathering, a brutal punishment that the Ku Klux Klan used against civil rights activists in the 20th century.

PragerU Kids Propaganda - Booker T. Washington: From Slavery to Self-Sufficiency

In “Booker T. Washington: From Slavery to Self-Sufficiency,” a cartoon version of the educator and reformer downplays slavery, segregation, and racial inequity; rattles off conservative talking points around hard work; and absolves white Americans of guilt around slavery, claiming that “Future generations are never responsible for the sins of the past.” 

PragerU Kids Propaganda - Martin Luther King Jr.: The Peaceful Civil Rights Leader

“Martin Luther King Jr.: The Peaceful Civil Rights Leader” presents a revisionist, whitewashed version of Dr. King whose “belief in non-violence never changed.” The truth is, he grew more radical throughout the years. In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” for example, Dr. King wrote, “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”

PragerU Kids Propaganda - Los Angeles: Mateo Backs the Blue

“Los Angeles: Mateo Backs the Blue” dismisses George Floyd’s murder and purports that claims of racial targeting by police are “false,” depicts Black Lives Matter activists as violent rioters and looters, and encourages children to thank police officers.

If you really want to dive deeper into the PragerU Kids cesspool, Media Matters for America reviewed every PragerU Kids video released on YouTube up to Aug. 14, 2023, and covered the most egregious right-wing content in this research file. Let us add our own disclaimer: visit at your own risk.

If we’ve scared you enough that you don’t need a deeper dive but are in need of uplifting resistance, we have that for you, too.

How You Can Fight Disinformation and Censorship During Black History Month and Beyond

First of all, as the far-right continues its efforts to censor classroom lessons and ban books from schools and libraries, it is more important than ever to read and elevate books by Black authors.

Here are some ideas for people of all ages:

Approach PragerU and other right-wing propaganda materials with a discerning eye, and encourage others to do the same.

A Student’s Guide to Resisting PragerU Propaganda is a comprehensive booklet that teaches young people how to think critically about PragerU’s content. It costs $11 to download. Check out Austin Public Library’s media literacy guide for free resources.

And finally, sign up for our movement to #TeachTheTruth.

PragerU Kids is propaganda masked as educational material. After successfully getting their insidious materials into public schools in Florida and Oklahoma, they now have their eyes set on Texas. TFN is fighting to ensure PragerU never makes it to our classrooms, but we can’t do it without you. Join our Teach the Truth campaign and help us keep up the fight!

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