In a video shared earlier this week, Tierra Espy, a high school teacher from Las Vegas, demonstrated how three Civil Rights icons — Carter G. Woodson, W.E.B. DuBois, and Booker T. Washington — were misidentified in the magnetic learning activity.
"These need to be pulled off the shelves immediately," remarked Espy, known by her TikTok handle @issatete, in her video posted on Tuesday. "I teach U.S. History... and I noticed some discrepancies as soon as I opened this."
In a Friday interview with The Associated Press, Espy elaborated that she bought the "Civil Rights Magnetic Learning Activity" at the end of January with the intention of giving it to her children. However, upon opening the product at home, she swiftly discovered the glaring errors and decided to share them online.
Shortly after, Target confirmed that it would halt sales of the product.
"We will no longer be selling this product in stores or online," stated Target, headquartered in Minneapolis, in a statement. "We've also ensured the product's publisher is aware of the errors."
Target did not immediately provide details regarding how long the product had been available for sale or a timeline for its removal completion. The decision to remove the product coincides with the beginning of Black History Month, during which Target and other retailers are honoring with special collections aimed at celebrating Black history.
The erroneous magnetic activity showcased in Espy's video bears a Bendon manufacturing label. The Ohio-based children's publisher did not immediately respond to requests for statements on Friday.
As of Friday, Espy stated that neither Target nor Bendon had reached out to her. While she expressed relief that the product had been removed from shelves, she also voiced disappointment at the lack of an apology from the companies thus far.
In addition to seeking an apology, Espy emphasized the significance of thoroughly reviewing products before making them available to consumers, which could prevent harmful errors like this in the future.
"Google is free, and I caught it in two seconds. They could have caught it by just doing a quick Google search," she remarked.
Espy also expressed gratitude for the support from fellow TikTok users who ensured that the errors did not go unnoticed.
"I'm pleased that people are recognizing the importance of history, regardless of the period," she concluded.