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Raising RacistsThe Socialization of White Children in the Jim Crow South$
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Kristina DuRocher

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813130019

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813130019.001.0001

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Consumerism Meets Jim Crow’s Children:

Consumerism Meets Jim Crow’s Children:

White Children and the Culture of Segregation

Chapter:
(p.61) 3 Consumerism Meets Jim Crow’s Children:
Source:
Raising Racists
Author(s):

Kristina DuRocher

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813130019.003.0004

White southerners took advantage of the emergence of mass culture in the early twentieth century to reiterate their justifications for white dominance over African Americans and impart to their children a distorted version of southern history. National advertisement campaigns made use of evocative images of the South to reinforce the idealized racial roles of southern antebellum society that were also portrayed in public-school instructional materials. Much like southern history books, many toys portrayed African Americans as entertainment, reinforcing the idea that blacks enjoyed subserviently performing for whites. Mechanical toys encouraged male dominance and rewarded aggression, placing white boys in control of stereotypical figurines of black bodies. Even in the chants and rhymes that children recited during games and playground amusements, African Americans are often referred to in a derogatory manner or as deserving of some form of violence. Parents also encouraged their children to participate in school plays and become members of youth organizations, such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Children of the Confederacy, to prepare them for their future racial and gender roles.

Keywords:   white southerners, white children, African Americans, white supremacy, segregation, mass culture, advertisements, toys, games, youth organizations

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