Standard history textbooks and courses discriminate against students who have been educated by rap songs or by Van Sertima.Um... Yeah. Let me see if I've worked up any indignation over that. Nope. Doesn't look like it.
Loewen is upset that not enough emphasis is put on Phoenician maritime accomplishments, which predated those of early Portuguese and Spanish navigators by some 2000 years. However, the reason he's upset about this is that he feels it minimizes the accomplishments of black people (he likes calling he Phoenicians "Afro-Phoenicians.) It's true that the Phoenicians settled North Africa (their city of Carthage famously squared off against the Roman Republic) but they originated in the Middle East. Indeed, they were a Semitic people and are among those referred to in the Bible as Canaanites. Like the Egyptians (another group whose accomplishments are often mined by "Afrocentric" accounts) they would not have looked much like the modern African-American students that those like Loewen are eager to inspire with their accomplishments. This is nothing against either the Phoenicians or modern African-Americans. But if one is for some odd reason convinced that in order to be interested in history one must hear about the exploits of people who look like you, then the Phoenicians are not much help to "Black History".
And either way the Jungle Brothers (whose song "Acknowledge Your Own History" Loewen diligently footnotes) are simply not among the scholarly sources we need to take seriously in the school room.
UPDATE: More generally on Lies My Teacher Told Me, it's certainly a book which is opinionated enough to be a page turner, and Loewen does successfully criticize some tired old mythologies about US history, which I can believe do occasionally show up in text books. However, there's something one can criticize in analysis, error or omission on nearly every single page -- something which is particularly hard to overlook given that he's put himself in charge of criticizing other people's analysis, errors and omissions in detail and with vigor. And particularly trying is that after criticizing mainstream textbooks (which it is certainly not controversial to assert are often dull and based on very old research mixed with unsubstantiated tropes) Loewen often trots out his own tropes (footnoting some secondary or more often tertiary source) which are just as trite and inaccurate, and only have the virtue of aligning more with his ideological stance. He does make some useful complaints (some of which, like the minimization of the Spanish element in American history, would even be of particular interest to Catholic educators) but it's mixed in with a lot of very frustrating stuff.
I'll probably be posting more on it later.