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

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

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

Kristina DuRocher

University Press of Kentucky

Abstract and Keywords

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

Eney, meeny, miny, mo, Catch a nigger by the toe! If he hollers let him go! Eney, meeny, miny, mo.

—Children’s rhyme

In the early twentieth century, the emergence of industrialization and mass culture in the South strained the system of racial segregation.1 Cash made the marketplace an equalizing space, offering at least monetary egalitarianism, while mass culture provided white southerners a public medium in which to reiterate their justifications for white dominance over African Americans.2 National advertisement campaigns, such as those for Aunt Jemima pancake mix and syrup, Cream of Wheat breakfast cereal, and Czar baking powder, made use of evocative images of the South, especially those of “good darkies,” to reinforce the idealized racial roles of southern antebellum society that were also portrayed in public-school instructional materials.3 Advertisers promoted many of these products in commercial venues all over the country, reflecting the nationalization of white culture and the naturalization of white supremacy. The ideology of African American inferiority lived in the national consciousness, as seen in such events as the mobilization of whites following African American Jack Johnson’s defeat of a white man for the title of heavyweight boxing champion in 1908.4

Although advertisements containing such images appeared across the country, their impact varied. In the North, these advertisements, seen against the backdrop of industrialization, furthered a historical nostalgia and functioned to keep blackness safely contained.5 In the South, however, (p.62) where whites struggled to preserve segregation, these advertisements reflected whites’ vision of desirable race relations. Images of subservient African Americans resonated strongly with white southerners, as the rise of mass consumer culture occurred at a time when southern whites were reconstructing their heritage through public commemoration. Throughout the early twentieth century, southern states began funding projects intended to reclaim the South’s past. Although part of a larger effort by Democrats to secure and justify their political positions, these state-funded ventures reinforced a white-supremacist vision of southern history in public spaces.6 In the South the public sphere remained in the control of whites, who quickly quashed counternarratives to white supremacy and contextualized the products of consumer culture within their own race-based society.

White southerners made use of the opportunity popular culture offered to manipulate representations of blacks and whites as a way of perpetuating a social discourse aimed at white control of African Americans. The production of movies such as Birth of a Nation (1915) and the creation of organizations such as the Children of the Confederacy supported white southerners’ efforts to educate their children in the re-created historical memory of the white South. White southerners crowded their children into theaters to watch movies like Birth of a Nation that reinforced lessons the children had learned about the white and black races and that, like other products of consumer culture, offered an additional visual punch. Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin recalled seeing Birth of a Nation several times and noted that fellow members of the audience “sighed and shivered, and now and then shouted or wept in their intensity” at the images of the noble southern men and women.7 Ralph McGill, who saw the movie as a boy in a packed house, wrote that after viewing the film he and his white playmates discussed rumors of trouble in the African American section of town. Empowered by the images of white manhood on the screen, the boys sought to reenact the white male roles within the movie.8 These early-twentieth-century cultural productions reinforced white power in the Jim Crow South by presenting consumer goods and cultural products in the context of whites’ daily lives.

The images and materials mass-produced for children drew on familiar and degrading stereotypes of African Americans—“Mammy,” “pickaninnies,” “Coons,” “Sambos,” and “Toms”—that reinforced white dominance and African American inferiority. The cultural media perpetuated a nostalgic vision of race relations similar to the one promoted in the educational (p.63) materials created for southern schools. Southern white children, therefore, experienced a seamless transition from the view of race relations presented in their school materials to the one they encountered in cultural productions in their daily life. The prevalence of these stereotypes in advertisements directed at children suggests that these images were consonant with the cultural attitudes of most southern whites. Through disseminating caricatures of African Americans, the media dehumanized African Americans. Toys, games, and extracurricular activities such as plays, church pageants, and youth groups, carried this constructed racial nostalgia even further. Not only did white children view these exaggerated race roles in books and advertisements, but white parents encouraged their children to perform them in community activities, allowing the children to enact their dominant roles as whites. Such adult-sanctioned youth activities offered a way for white children to participate in rituals and ceremonies that portrayed white supremacy as normal and acceptable. The transition to enacting social roles mirrored children’s development since, by their teenaged years, after successfully merging parental, school, and community lessons, white youth took on an active community responsibility.

By the early twentieth century, mass media played a vital role in the socialization of white youth through normalizing the lessons of home and school. That whites used the medium of advertising to oppress African Americans is perhaps not surprising. What is interesting, though, is the role that white boys and girls played in the emerging mass media culture. Children’s placement in advertisements aimed at a youthful audience offered a model of appropriate behaviors for white youth necessary to perpetuate white supremacy. A 1914 Cream of Wheat advertisement reflects the idealized social discourses of whites (see page 64). Harnessed to a cart is an elderly African American, representing the “Uncle Tom” stereotype of an aged, faithful servant.9 The man in this image is thin, his shoulders drooping as he lights a cigarette. Poorly dressed, he wears grimy, baggy pants and an oversized, ill-fitting jacket. In the cart is a well-dressed, giggling white boy. He holds reins attached to the black man in one hand, while he wields a whip, poised to strike, in the other. The words “Cream of Wheat” are emblazoned on the cart, and the ad’s caption reads, “Giddap Uncle!”10

This advertisement offers little subtlety in its portrayal of race relations. A white boy whips a subservient elderly black man while uttering a command that reduces the black man to a docile beast of burden. This vivid advertisement reflects the most common themes on which American advertisers drew in creating a public discourse about race and power. First, this representation links poor hygiene with blackness, which served to reinforce the connection between whiteness and purity. Second, the advertisement portrays a racial fetishism about African American bodies.11 Advertisers often physically exaggerated black bodies, exhibiting them as underdressed or naked, or giving them animal-like characteristics. As noted, hitching the black man to the cart likens him to a beast of burden. Portraying physical violence against African Americans as entertainment is the third, and most obvious, reflection of racial discourses about power in mass culture. In this case, the white boy enacts his social power over the black body through physical brutality. Even as a child, he is permitted to attack and, perhaps more important, to enjoy assaulting black bodies. In demonstrating his power, the white boy emasculates this “Uncle Tom” and, by implication, all black men. Collectively, these themes functioned to depict both whites and African Americans in roles that supported and justified white supremacy.


Consumerism Meets Jim Crow’s Children:White Children and the Culture of Segregation

Cream of Wheat advertisement, 1914.

(p.65) Other Cream of Wheat advertisements displayed African American males’ inferiority by contrasting black males with wholesome white children. The Cream of Wheat chef, Rastus, a black man in a white cook’s hat who emerged as Cream of Wheat’s mascot in a series of advertisements, often appeared alongside chubby-cheeked white children. In one placard, he feeds Cream of Wheat to a white toddler above the words “[Cream of Wheat] Is the model children’s food, light, nutritious.”12 In another circular, the chef, holding a huge bowl in his arms, speaks in dialect: “Bigges’ I could get, Sah! Mo’ Wheh Dis Comed Fum, Yas Sah, Cream of Wheat.”13 The use of dialect directed to an unseen white master identified only as “Sir” emphasizes the servile role of African Americans. Another Cream of Wheat advertisement shows the black chef serving Cream of Wheat to a little girl in a fancy frock. The caption of the ad designed to invoke images of “Little Miss Muffet” reads: “Little Miss Muffet, Sat on a Tuffet, Winsome, Charming and Sweet, Our Fat Darkey Spied Her, and Put Down Beside Her, A Luncheon of Good CREAM OF WHEAT” (emphasis added).14 These advertisements reinforced white discourses of social control by showing African Americans serving white children, while the images of the Cream of Wheat chef further emasculated black males by having them take on the traditionally feminine role of a domestic servant. Not only does the caption refer to the chef as “Our Fat Darkey,” using the word “our” to suggest whites’ possession of African American males, but this image of a “fat” black man dressed in a cook’s outfit and holding utensils (p.66) while happily serving a white child is reminiscent of the caricature of the “Mammy” who devotedly cares for white children.

Historians of imperialism explore how the production and consumption of race in commodity cultures reinforced social realities and justified colonial control.15 The languages and images created by and spread through mass media advertising share similarities with imperial discourses that conceptualized and labeled dark-skinned peoples as “Others.” In the colonial context, advertisers relied on the frequent association in the British Empire of dirt and Africans to degrade blackness and promote the interest of Western, white constructions of race.16 Just as European advertisements offered empires a way to commodify and consume their colonial subjects, American advertisements presented whites with images of their superiority over African Americans that justified white dominance. The American South participated in this discourse as both a colony and an imperial power. The North’s modernization and evolution into a strong industrial society consigned the South to an almost colonial status within the nation.17 Yet, the white South also functioned like an imperial power, attempting to colonize and control African Americans.

Common themes are identifiable in these colonial discourses and in American advertisements. Two Pears’ Soap advertisements, one British and one American, illustrate the similarities between the rhetoric of imperialistic control and that of American racial domination. The first image, from the 1899 Ladies’ Home Journal, shows a white girl, whose hat, stockings, and ruffled dress identify her as middle class, speaking with an African American child. Her attractive appearance seems intended to suggest that this white girl uses soap daily. Taught that soap removes filth, the white girl is puzzled as to why the African American girl would be unclean, asking, “Oh! Why don’t you use Pears’ Soap?”18 A similar British 1903 Pears’ Soap advertisement shows a white child washing clean a black child, but the African child’s face remains black.19 Although these advertisements are directed to different audiences, the impact of both rests on the white viewer’s understanding that blackness, unlike dirt, is permanent. The black child in the picture can never be “pure” because she can never be white. These advertisements served to represent racial and gender roles not only for African Americans but also for white females by depicting them as responsible for upholding society by maintaining their prescribed social roles.

By the 1920s, most Americans’ lives included the daily use of soap, and advertisements for hygiene products in particular offer a clear rhetoric about social control, race, and gender. Advertisers primarily targeted women, for (p.67) females purchased from 80 to 85 percent of household goods.20 Advertisements displayed white females shouldering the burden of “cleaning up” civilization, offering solutions to both household and social problems by utilizing sanitation products as the symbol of an enlightened and successful white civilization.21 While American advertisers employed this idea of women wiping away the dirt of society, for white southerners the connection between cleanliness and purity resonated in a specific way. The continuation of white supremacy required white female sexual purity, as white women had a duty to keep themselves both physically free from dirt and sexually free from blackness. In an 1898 advertisement for Fairy Soap, two girls, one white and one black, offer a study in contrasts (see page 68).22 The African American girl, with her bare feet, unadorned dress with a ragged hemline, and torn waistband, appears unkempt, while the white girl standing next to her appears unsoiled in a ruffled gingham dress. As the white girl approaches the African American child squarely, the black child is looking at the white girl out of the corner of her eye, avoiding direct contact. The image as a whole connects blackness with poverty and dirt. The caption, “Why doesn’t your Mamma wash you with Fairy Soap?” reinforces the idea that racial inferiority is permanent, as well as emphasizing the roles that hygiene and mothers play in this cultural process.

Soap advertisements repeatedly drew on the image of the young, well-dressed white girl to depict wholesomeness and cleanliness. One Ivory Soap advertisement from 1932 shows a happy white baby girl immersed in a bath. As an infant, this white female is the ultimate representation of virtue, and her placement in a bath reflects her physical pureness. The copy of the advertisement notes, “A girl can’t start out too young doing right by her complexion!” Moreover, “only a clean complexion has a chance to be beautiful.”23 This image of innocence reminded white southern women to retain their childlike virtue, suggesting that only a clean, or pure, white woman could meet white society’s expectations for beauty. In addition to print advertisements, Ivory Soap made use of a sales jingle that also connected racial purity with hope for the future. Sung to the tune of “Sweet Adeline,” the lyrics note, “Sweet Ivory soap, you are the dope / You make me clean, just like scourine / I love you so, like Sapolio. / You’re the idol of my bath, Sweet Ivory soap.” At the end of the song, a tenor echoes, “My only hope!”24 In the South, this advertisement campaign about being clean, targeted at young women, would conjure up additional meanings of racial purity and social acceptability.


Consumerism Meets Jim Crow’s Children:White Children and the Culture of Segregation

Fairy Soap advertisement, 1898. Courtesy of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana—Soap, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

(p.69) American images of blacks permeated advertisements for many products in the domestic sphere, including baking products, appliances, food, and cleaning supplies. These advertisements often fetishized the black body. Anne McClintock defines a fetish as embodying “crises in social value” or a “social contradiction,” and in the system of southern segregation, the black body became a focal point of a race-based society.25 Images that displayed distorted black bodies for white enjoyment allowed whites to reenact their social power over African Americans. This occurred in the antebellum South when white plantation owners compelled slaves to fiddle, dance, or otherwise entertain them, and in doing so, reaffirmed the slaves’ submission. These spectacles are part of what Saidiya Hartman terms “Negro Enjoyment,” and they provide a terrifying example of everyday domination.26 In the New South, whites were prohibited from owning African Americans as a validation of white power, but advertisements allowed a form of this practice to continue by displaying African American bodies in ways that allowed gazing white consumers to reaffirm their own superiority on a daily basis.

Although advertisers portrayed black men in a variety of emasculating ways, fetishism over black bodies often revolved around African American women, limited in popular culture to the “Mammy” figure. The “Mammy” representation most clearly offered white southerners a way to affirm control over black bodies. After the Civil War, white families who desired the services of black women as domestic workers had to employ them. The “Mammy” image assuaged white southerners’ feelings of loss of control by recalling slavery and the absolute power white southerners had once exerted over black female bodies. Representations of the “Mammy” evoked the vision of an African American woman who labored not for money, but out of a benevolent love for her white family.27 The physical depictions of “Mammies” in advertisements also reaffirmed white authority by portraying the black female body with exaggerated physical characteristics.

An advertising card for Czar baking powder drew on both the “Mammy” figure and the stereotypical “pickaninny” image.28 In this advertisement, the illustrator has drawn both of the figures with exaggerated noses, ears, and lips. Together the black woman and the youth gape in amazement (and perhaps greed) at the enormous loaf of bread created by using this product. A campaign for Arm & Hammer baking soda drew upon similar imagery. These cards show a “before” and an “after” image of the product’s rising power (see page 70). In the “before” image, a large black “Mammy” and a small naked “pickaninny” prepare for a bath when a cat jumps atop a baking soda box. The caption, in heavy dialect, confirms the female figure’s identity as a “Mammy” figure: “But I tell you chile ’f you don’ take care, Yo’ll feel yo’ mammy’s hand.”29 Both African Americans’ features are monkeylike, with large white lips and eyes, reminiscent of blackface minstrelsy. In the “after” image, the startled cat has jumped off the ledge, knocking the powder into the bath. The rising suds reveal Mammy’s ample breast, while the black child has little protection against his nakedness.30 His unclothed body is the center of the image, where the whiteness of the rising bubbles contrasts sharply with his dark features. The nakedness and physical distortion of African Americans’ bodies within these advertisements encouraged the white audience to enjoy gazing at the black body for both its entertainment value and the sense of racial domination it supplied. In fetishizing black bodies, white southerners sought to displace their social anxieties. As the nostalgic fantasy of passive, deferential, and controllable African Americans increasingly clashed with the reality of African American resistance to whites’ social control, exaggerating African Americans’ physical features, often to the extent of making them subhuman, offered white viewers a chance to enjoy African Americans’ inferiority and their own race-based power.


Consumerism Meets Jim Crow’s Children:White Children and the Culture of Segregation

Arm & Hammer baking soda advertisement. Courtesy of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana—Baking Soda, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

(p.71) While using caricatures of blacks as entertainment allowed whites to express or imagine their domination, it also degraded African Americans, suggesting the acceptability of violence against blacks. The portrayal of the smiling white boy whipping the “Uncle Tom” in the Cream of Wheat advertisement reflects the larger desire of white southern society to reenact that power relationship. For white southerners, these advertisements mirrored their sense that the enforcement of white supremacy often required physical brutality. Several advertisers centered their campaigns on violence to black bodies, usually those of males. A series of placards for Gold Medal baking powder portray a young black male in striped pants, tattered clothes, and bare feet, with exaggerated facial features including oversized lips and ears. In a series of images, animals attack the boy: on one card, a lobster bites his toes; on a second one, a muskrat nips at his behind (see page 72); and on a third, a fox chases the terrified youth away. On each of the cards, the African American carries a heavy box on his back that proclaims Gold Medal baking powder to be “the best.”31 The success of the advertisement requires that a white audience would find this violence humorous and enjoyable.32

Other advertisements took physical attacks against black males even further, actively dismembering their bodies and literally reducing them to objects. A two-scene fold-over H. Sears & Co. Fine Cutlery advertisement for a pocketknife executes a black man for white male entertainment. In the first image, the smiling African American man is well-dressed, if ill-fittingly, in a white, wide-collared shirt and black pants. He is, the copy exclaims, thrilled with his purchase of a pocketknife: “This darkey never was before / So happy in his life / He bought a ‘Henry Sears & Son / Well known, new Pocket Knife / Then homeward hied with gleesome pride / with joy almost exploded” (see page 73). Below the copy, the man, excited by his acquisition, pulls the knife halfway open and positions his head between the blade and handle. A curious dog looks on from the side. As one might predict, in the second scene the blade snaps shut. The man’s headless body, with arms spread in surprise, occupies the background while his severed head rests in the foreground. The copy explains: “The Knife shut up / His head dropped off, / He did’nt know twas loaded.”33 This violent imagery depicting the dismemberment of a black body in an advertisement directed at white men demonstrates how racialized violence was used to sell products. Further, the copy mocks the black man for not knowing how to use the knife properly. The joke rests on African American ignorance, suggesting that the black man failed to understand a knife could be spring-loaded, or alternatively, that he thought the knife, like a gun, required loading. The humor inherent in African Americans unsuccessfully trying to imitate whites is a theme found in many advertisements and functioned to downplay white anxiety about an equalizing marketplace. Even if African Americans could afford these middle-class products, such advertisements suggest, blacks could never truly reproduce white behaviors.34 Such images entertain whites by portraying African Americans as unable to perform the most basic tasks, such as using soap or a knife properly. The H. Sears & Co. advertisement dismisses black manhood as a physical threat—how menacing is a black man who cannot even use a pocketknife?


Consumerism Meets Jim Crow’s Children:White Children and the Culture of Segregation

Gold Medal baking powder advertisement. Courtesy of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana—Baking Powders, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.


Consumerism Meets Jim Crow’s Children:White Children and the Culture of Segregation

Henry Sears & Son Cutlery advertisement. Courtesy of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana—Cutlery, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

(p.74) Mass culture offered white southerners an alternative way to dominate African Americans. Through perpetuating discourses about African Americans’ need of civilization as seen by a lack of hygiene; demeaning black bodies through fetishism; and presenting physical violence against blacks as entertaining, mass advertising worked to reduce African Americans to inhuman caricatures. Controllable mass-produced images of African Americans represented southern whites’ conceptions of ideal race relations, and the degrading stereotypes these images contained of passive, unintelligent African Americans reinforced southern whites’ sense of superiority and tightened their control of the public sphere.

Enacting Race

As southern white children matured, their parents encouraged them to be active participants in their own socialization. Most white children grew up as part of a public and interactive communal culture, which was reflected in the toys they played with as well in their participation in schoolyard games, community pageants, and southern parent-organized youth groups such as the children’s Ku Klux Klan or the Children of the Confederacy. White children were encouraged to actualize white supremacy through performances focused on reproducing the idealized model taught to them in their homes, observed in their school texts, and reflected in consumer culture.

Children’s play is the opposite of work. Although scholars identify various functions that play serves for children, most agree that childhood amusements are a form of socialization into adult behaviors. Plato philosophically considered play the ideal way to socialize free citizens into society.35 In the seventeenth century, the Enlightenment philosopher John Locke discussed recreation for children as a site where parents could encourage the acquisition of social virtues. He suggested that parents consider play a business task for their child and require children to play every day.36 Locke wrote that parents should not provide toys, but that children should create their own amusements. Like Plato, Locke ultimately promoted play for the development of “good and useful habits” in the next generation of citizens.37 In the newly industrialized twentieth-century society, play continued to serve social purposes.38

By the close of the nineteenth century, families had become smaller, parents were more focused on child rearing, more children attended school, and fewer labored in factories. Boys, especially, gained playtime, as those (p.75) [between the ages of fourteen and eighteen spent only 40 percent of their time toiling in 1930, down from 61 percent in 1890.39 After the Civil War, industrialization changed toy manufacturing, with newer, cheaper materials allowing the production of inexpensive toys.40 By the twentieth century, children were taking advantage of their longer playtimes to enjoy their mass-produced toys. Advertisers, however, marketed to parents, not children, as nineteenth-century youth did not yet have the pocket money to purchase their own toys.41 Catalogs and children’s magazines from the late 1800s, therefore, advertised items to parents that reflected the lessons adults would find appropriate for their child’s social class, race, age, and gender.42

Much like southern history books, many toys portrayed African Americans as entertainment, reinforcing the idea that African Americans enjoyed subserviently performing for whites. In 1921, the Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog, which generally exemplified mainstream American culture, advertised the “Famous Alabama Coon Jigger” toy, described as “a realistic dancing negro who goes through the movements of a lively jig. Very amusing and fascinating.”43 This catalog description and others like it show a preoccupation with convincing the audience of the realism and authenticity of the black bodies portrayed by toys. A year later, the Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog included another dancing amusement for white children, the “Colored Minstrel Boys, Oh, What Music!” toy. This product pictured “two coons with the exaggerated head and foot movement of real darkies.”44 Even the language describing these toys demonstrated the manufacturers’ awareness of the mainstream white culture’s stereotypes of blacks and the desire of whites for authenticity in their idealized vision of race relations.

The mass production of these items reveals their appeal to the values and culture of a national audience. These toys reflected the racial beliefs of the dominant group at the turn of the twentieth century—whites. Toys, as an indication of prevailing ideals, legitimized these racialized images of African Americans and created a feeling of superiority for the white consumer or owner.45 These products resonated distinctly with white southerners, who interpreted these toys not as historical nostalgia, but as reflective of a desired social reality. The toy “Colorful Darky Dancer Does a Lifelike Buck and Wing” encouraged children to “wind up the spring and start him off,” with its description noting that “this happy darky just can’t keep from dancing! He seems to like it too.”46 The “Charleston Trio,” another windup toy, included a dog that expressed its enjoyment of the music produced by the (p.76) black musicians, “Charleston Charlie dances while the small negro fiddles and the animal nods his approval.”47 In playing with these toys, white children reenacted the roles of slave masters who forced African Americans to perform for whites’ enjoyment, a recital, the copy reassured its readers, that blacks enjoyed. As Patricia Turner notes, manufacturers who created items with the images of African American stereotypes such as “Coon,” “Sambo,” and “Mammy” devised a way for consumers to continue to buy and sell African Americans, keeping the nostalgia of slavery alive.48 In marketing images of African Americans, manufacturers allowed whites to consume, and therefore control, blackness by commodifying black bodies in products. These entertainments also kept the power relationships of slavery alive, for unlike the images in advertisements, mass-produced toys were three-dimensional objects with stereotypical racial characteristics, which allowed white children to physically possess, and interact with, representations of African Americans.

After 1920, when advertisers began to target children as consumers, they did so primarily based on gender, with toys for boys emphasizing technology and the values of competition. Mechanical toys encouraged male dominance and rewarded aggression, placing white boys in control of stereotypical figurines of black bodies. One toy, a mechanical bank, “Always Did ’Spise a Mule,” rewarded the saver by bucking off the rider, a caricature of an African American with grotesque features. This toy required that the child instigate the pretend violence and thus encouraged racial violence as entertainment.49 Amusements for boys often followed the theme of finding humor in the harming of African American bodies. In 1936, the Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog introduced the “Chicken Snatcher.” Described as “one of the new, most novel toys of the year,” it included a spring-action motor that caused a “scared looking negro” to dance with “a chicken dangling in his hand and a dog hanging on the seat of his pants.” The catalog description concluded that this was a “Very funny toy which will delight the kiddies.”50 The windup feature of the toy allowed the violence to occur repeatedly so the viewer could savor the humor of a dog attacking a black body and exercise control over the replicated body of an African American.

Physical games encouraged white boys to harm black targets. “Dump the Nigger” and “Coon Dip,” both carnival dunk-tank amusements, required participants to hurl projectiles at live African Americans or painted facsimile targets. Another popular children’s entertainment, “Beanem,” encouraged children to fling beanbag targets at cartoonish African American faces with (p.77) exaggerated features. Both games, the objective of which was to hit an African American, rewarded racialized physical abuse. Similar games required male aggression against African American targets with guns, such as the “Little Darky Shooting Gallery,” advertised in the 1914 Butler Brothers catalog, which contained cardboard cutouts of stereotypical African Americans for target practice, including one depicting a “Mammy” figure.51 These pursuits promoted violence against black bodies and fostered competitive male physicality. In 1929, the Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog advertised the game “Can You Tip the Bell Boy?” which required boys to shoot wooden balls at a cutout representing an African American bellboy. This activity contained a “double score feature so all can have real fun.”52 A similar game produced by Parker Brothers, “Sambo Five Pins,” consisted of a bowling set with black faces on the pins; included within the game’s packaging was the story of Sambo, “a good ole Southern Darky.” The story was intended to help white children connect the caricatured images of blacks in advertisements and toys to images in children’s fiction and textbooks.53

While the toys provided for boys encouraged physical and even violent play, toys for girls remained unchanged, with dolls as the primary plaything throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.54 In the antebellum period, dolls developed girls’ domestic skills, and, in true Lockean fashion, girls made their own playthings.55 Adults expected girls to use dolls to imitate adult females’ social rituals, and this formalized play trained girls in their future domestic roles.56 After the Civil War, although society continued to consider dolls as training aids for future wives and mothers, dolls began to be marketed differently. By the early 1900s, manufacturers were promoting their dolls as being true to life, with manufacturers likely expecting that white girls would mimic the etiquette required of white “ladies” and purchase the accoutrements needed to “play house” and host tea parties.57 In this vein, manufacturers developed a second type of doll, the African American servant doll. Advertisers assured readers that the black doll would assist the white mistress doll in her domestic duties.58 The 1924 Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog introduced the “Aunt Jemima Doll with Ma-Ma voice.” This doll, the catalog declared, would “delight” girls who could pretend the “Aunt Jemima doll is making delicious pancakes or taking care of other dollies.” Dressed in a “costume of floral pattern cotton material with large white apron and collar; also red bandanna and Aunt Jemima label,” this doll represented the “Mammy” caricature.59 The idea that a girl would own a black doll in order to have it care for her white dolls reflects (p.78) the continuity of antebellum ideals for white females, who depended on receiving the benefit of subservient blacks’ domestic labor. Although African American dolls were widely introduced, the monetary and collectable value of African American dolls remained low until the late twentieth century. The Standard Antique Doll Identification and Value Guide lists values for dolls manufactured between 1700 and 1935, yet it contains only one entry for a “Negro” doll. This doll, listed as being produced in 1885 and clothed only in a grass skirt, is the one wearing the least amount of clothing in the entire catalog.60 Playthings that employed racial stereotypes, such as subservient dolls and violent mechanical toys, remained in circulation into the mid-twentieth century, when cartoon characters began to replace the caricatures so prevalent at the turn of the twentieth century. Mickey Mouse and his associates replaced “Coon Jiggers,” and American manufacturers began to step away from overtly racialized toys.61

Games and playground amusements also make up the informal culture of play. Jump-rope chants and schoolyard verses are oral traditions with local or regional variations. The chants, or doggerels, that children recite fall into two categories: gibberish rhymes and descriptive stories.62 References in these chants to African Americans are uniquely American and often reflect local cultures.63 Perhaps the best-known of these chants, documented in one variation or another in every state, is “Eney, meeny, miny, mo, Catch a nigger by the toe! If he hollers let him go! Eney, meeny, miny, mo.”64 Rhymes traveled from child to child, school to school, and region to region and were often changed at each new location.65 This resulted in variations of the same rhyme in different locales; for example, one southern version rhymed: “Eney, meeny, miny, mo, Catch a darky by the toe. If he hollers, make him pay, fifty dollars every day.”66

Many of lyrics from schoolyard games that reference African Americans utilized the stereotypes found in southern educational literature and toys. Southern children’s rhymes included such derogatory lines such as: “Did you ever, ever, ever, In your life, life, life, See a nigger, nigger, nigger, Kiss his wife, wife, wife?”67 There is also the descriptive, “Nigger, Nigger, never die, Black face and shiny eye, Kinky hair and crooked toes, That’s the way the nigger goes,” which details the physical exaggerations found in representations of blacks in mainstream white culture.68 The rhyme, “Teacher, Teacher, don’t whip me; Was that nigger behind the tree; He stole peaches, I stole none,” draws on the stereotype of the thieving African American.69 Jump-rope rhymes often contain a “mini-drama,” such as, “Some people say that niers (p.79) don’t steal, I caught some in my corn meal.” Other rhymes reinforced African Americans’ servile status. One jump-rope counting rhyme claimed: “I know something I shan’t tell, Three little niggers in a peanut shell; One can sing and one can dance, And one can make a pair of pants. O-U-T spells out goes she.”70 These rhymes portray African Americans as thieves, servants, or entertainment for whites. In contrast to the portrayal of African Americans in the chants, the white is presented as blameless, a victim who does not deserve punishment. Like the images in advertisements and toys, some rhymes contain descriptions of violence against African Americans, such as “Boil Black blood of big black man; Boilika, bublika, Ku Klux Klan!71 Another rhyme refers to the violent practice of lynching, beginning “Nigger on the woodpile, Don’t you hear him hollar?”72 These informal chants strengthened the larger social beliefs about the relative positions of southern whites and African Americans as well as the necessity of using violence to enforce these roles if required.

Community Culture

Playacting with toys helped white children across the nation to imagine themselves as racially superior, but, besides pretending with toys or games, southern children also engaged in activities such as plays and youth organizations that encouraged them to fantasize about dominating black bodies. Adults organized and sanctioned these activities, using role-playing and social rituals to prepare children to uphold their future gender and racial roles. White southern children could act out both white and black roles in plays, reinforcing their own position against the stereotypical images of African Americans. Even today, children are encouraged to perform in plays as it allows them to enact different roles and characters.73 The University of North Carolina Extension Bulletin in 1925 published a booklet of historical pageants of North Carolina for youths, the Children of Old Carolina, by Ethel Theodora Rockwell. Information on royalties revealed the play’s intended use in elementary classrooms, for any school in North Carolina wishing to perform the play was obliged to send ten dollars for each performance, while those outside North Carolina had to pay twenty-five dollars. The cast of Children of Old Carolina included a group of “colored” characters who were played by children, presumably in blackface. When the character of a “negro boy,” playing a lively tune on a banjo, enters, the “colored children carrying baskets and bags of cotton” join him onstage singing, “Dis cott’n (p.80) want a-pickin’ so bad.”74 When they reach center stage, the group puts down their burdens and “begin[s] to sing, pat juba, and dance” the “Cotton Dance Song.” The lyrics focus on the joy of picking cotton; “A’ll pick a hundred by an’ by, Way down- in de cot’n fiel’.” In its depiction of a contest to see who could pick the most cotton, the play demonstrates the enthusiasm slaves purportedly possessed for this activity: “Jim he bet me a tater pie, Way down-in de cot’n fiel’, Dat he could pick mo’ cott’n dan I.”75 The play encourages children to act out the revised history of an Old South populated by happy African American slaves who cannot wait to pick cotton.

The State of Alabama also created a play to encourage elementary students to act out the history of great white men that they learned in their textbooks. The third in a series of children’s dramas about statehood published in 1919, How Alabama Became a State included costume directives for the character Lucy, “A Negro Mammy,” which instructed the actor to wear “a dark blue dress, a big white apron,” and to be “turbaned with a red bandanna handkerchief.” She must also “be blacked to represent a real negro slave woman.”76 Mammy, whose lines are in heavy dialect, begins the play on her knees rolling up her bed, while her “lil’le honey” cries nearby. As the play unfolds, Mary, a character from North Carolina, describes her journey to Alabama. She narrates how “the slaves worked and had such fun around the camp fires at night.”77 All of the young female characters in the play order their “Mammies” around, taking on the role of plantation mistress, while the boys act out the role of adult men by pledging to help the great state of Alabama.

White southern youth continued to act out gendered and racial roles in a dramatic way through high school and into college. Recommended in the approved book list for southern secondary school teachers and dramatic coaches, Easily Staged Plays for Boys contained the script The Scary Ape. The introductory notes describe Tom, the main African American character, as “a very black Negro butler.” Tom has no last name, which is common for African American characters. Throughout the play, Tom speaks in heavy dialect, and various whites scold him for his lazy ways. The humor of the play centers on Tom’s simplistic understanding of the world. The similarity, in name, appearance, and actions between Tom and an escaped ape named Tom-Tom offers most of the play’s humor. The house’s master, Mr. Thom, observes that the monkey treats Tom like a brother, and that the butler resembles Tom-Tom the ape “a great deal.”78 This may be because the directions for Tom’s and the ape’s makeup are very similar; both characters are (p.81) to wear dark paint on their faces with large light circles marked around the lips and eyes, similar to the makeup applied in blackface minstrelsy. The end of the story reveals Tom-Tom the ape to be a female, and she devotes herself to Tom. Tom then offers Mr. Thom to be “yo’ slab fo’ life ef yo’ gits me ob dis heah ’tachment” and promises not to steal any more gin.79 The play concludes with Tom offering himself as a lifetime slave, creating a parallel between sharecropping and slavery and suggesting that black subservience and white ownership should occur in practice, if not legally.

Churches also sponsored children’s plays to promote fellowship, and like their counterparts in southern schools, they chose stories that modeled ideal behaviors for whites. The overall message of church plays, as in racialized advertisements, was that the uncivilized nature of African Americans justified white benevolence, linking white morality to the control of African American bodies. As studies on morality demonstrate, sets of common ethics transcend spiritual divisions, and in the Jim Crow South, the aspiration of keeping whiteness separate from blackness overcame denominational differences.80 Phunology: A Collection of Tried and Proved Plans for Play, Fellowship, and Profit published in Nashville for southern Sunday schools, suggested a list of plays that included Mirandy’s Minstrels, The Thread of Destiny, and Hunker’s Corner as suitable for children to put on for their church.81 In addition to being popular selections, these plays all contain white and African American characters that represent the power relations of segregation. Although it is unclear if the children performed all of these plays in blackface, the depictions of African American males within these plays are consistent with those found in minstrel performances.82 These representations of black bodies paraded for whites’ pleasure offered the audience a way to imagine themselves dominating black bodies.83

Hunkers’ Corners: An Entertainment in Three Scenes included in its cast of characters Tom, the “colored assistant.” The directions for the opening scene introduce Tom as a “Colored boy lazily sweeping.” He provides the comic relief in the story, as the main characters repeatedly remark upon Tom’s slothfulness, and his lack of basic knowledge is the punch line for many jokes. He speaks in dialect punctuated by yawns that represent his laziness: “Mistah Hunkahs, ef dem stunnin’ young ladies boadin’ down to de Cohnahs takes it into dey haids to come to de sto’ dis yere day, d’ye reckon yer kin sar’ me to hol’ dey hoss and shoo de pesky flies off? [Yawns and stretches].” Bill Hunkers, who owns the store at which Tom works, replies, “You lazy nigger, you’re forever studyin’ up some scheme to get shot o’ work.”84 Hunker’s (p.82) Corners not only portrays Tom as ignorant and lazy, but Bill Hunker, the store’s white owner, keeps Tom in his place for Tom’s own good by giving him a “hard time,” a phrase with a violent undertone.

The Thread of Destiny, a pro-Confederate play set during the Civil War, tells a story about a plantation that “goes to waste” when only a few “faithful negroes remain with the women.”85 Those remaining loyal slaves are Uncle Billy and Mammy Dinah. Mammy Dinah, described as “A Faithful Servitor,” is “always displaying her loyalty to the family she serves and her devotion to their cause.” She is “always cheerful in the midst of misfortune” and wears “the conventional servant costume—calico dress, white apron, and red bandannas around neck and head.” The author characterizes Uncle Billy as an “Uncle Tom,” as seen by his “absolute devotion to his master and his master’s family; unselfish in his service to them.” Uncle Billy wears “baggy trousers, old frock coat and colored vest; carries red bandanna.”86 Similar characters pepper Mirandy’s Minstrels, which suggests “blacking” performers’ faces and hands and practicing delivering lines in dialect.87 These descriptions further reinforced the reenactment of power relations that these plays offered. The plays replicated the power relationships of slavery when whites compelled slaves to perform for them and allowed white youth to playact the power of their whiteness. As children performing in plays portrayed African Americans as comical, entertaining, and loyal, they participated in a form of everyday racial domination.88 As a popular form of entertainment, plays made instruction in white supremacy more dramatic and real for white southern children, drawing on cultural images of African Americans as uncivilized and in need of white control. This role-playing, like other activities, allowed youth to perform nostalgic racial roles.

Community Youth Groups

As southern society modernized, parents were concerned that a generation experiencing great social change might be less able or inclined to maintain white supremacy.89 The Ku Klux Klan and the Children of the Confederacy were the most prominent youth organizations that emerged in the New South; both were dedicated to preserving white supremacy. In 1915, the Ku Klux Klan’s Invisible Empire was reborn out a fear that racial egalitarianism would result from African Americans’ experiences as soldiers in World War I. This fear was pushed to the forefront by D. W. Griffith’s 1915 movie The Birth of a Nation. The core values of the faction, founded in 1868, remained (p.83) intact, for the Klan continued to support white-supremacist policies and employed violence to terrorize African Americans, but in its second incarnation, the Klan adapted and expanded its messages in response to changing times. The reborn Klan, with a new national focus, added an anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant agenda to its anti–African American stances. Despite the Klan’s new national focus, though, its stronghold remained the South.

In 1915, as part of the Klan’s reemergence, women were recognized through the formation of the Women’s Ku Klux Klan (WKKK). Although the WKKK was implemented as independent from the men’s group, WKKK members bound themselves to the Klan’s ideals.90 Their oath reflected members’ goals to create white, Protestant, Anglo-Saxon dominance: “I, the undersigned, a true and loyal citizen of the United States of America, being a white woman of sound mind and a believer in the tenets of the Christian religion and the principles of ‘pure Americanism,’ do most respectfully apply for affiliation in the Ladies of the Invisible Empire.”91 As Klanswomen, members marched in parades, organized community events, and recruited new Klan members.92 As part of their quest for members, the WKKK began a “cradle roll,” enlisting white youth from birth through the age of twelve into their auxiliary. At the child’s dedication, a Klanswoman presented each baby with a Bible.93

Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin’s parents enrolled her in the children’s Ku Klux Klan. She recalled, “We were happy in it for the aid and the blessing it won from our adults.” Seen as an “offspring of our warm Southern patriotism,” the group held secret meetings and made Klan costumes, complete with hoods and masks. Lumpkin remembered making her robes from old sheets and the crosses with cheesecloth.94 The renowned movie director D. W. Griffith also reminisced about his mother making KKK robes during his youth, and about the sense of historical duty his parents imparted to him. In an interview he recalled, “you heard your father tell about fighting day after day [in the Civil War], night after night, and having nothing to eat but parched corn, and about your mother staying up night after night sewing robes for the Klan.”95 Not all children viewed their participation in the group solely as fulfilling their responsibilities to their parents or heritage. One girl considered the group social entertainment: “It was just something to do and somewhere to go and nice little cookies and tea or cookies and Kool-Aid or something.” The group utilized the secrecy of the society to promote the young children’s feelings of privilege, as she recalled: “You knew very much it was a secret.” This mystery is what “was fun” about the club.96 (p.84) Although recalled fondly by southern youth as a social organization, the children’s Klan had serious functions that included discussing imaginary violence against African Americans. Lumpkin remembered that “a chief topic of business when ceremonies had ended was the planning of pretend punitive expeditions against mythical recalcitrant Negroes.” The significance of these conversations, however, often “went far beyond pretense.” Lumpkin concluded that her participation was a significant matter for “it was truly a serious game, and in a sense we were serious children bent on our ideals.”97

As white children began to outgrow the children’s KKK, the Klan undertook to continue white children’s education into their teenaged years. In 1923, the Ku Klux Klan voted to create two auxiliaries, the Junior Ku Klux Klan for adolescent boys, and the Tri-K-Klub for teenaged girls. As a member of the Tri-K-Klub, under the umbrella of the WKKK, girls learned the messages of the Klan and the skills required for marriage and motherhood. The WKKK upheld the overall goal “of all Klan bodies” to preserve America as “a great, free, Protestant country,” keeping the United States under “the control of the White, American born, Anglo-Saxon leadership.”98 Told to picture themselves as wives and mothers, girls repeatedly read that their actions would affect the future of white America: “The hope of the next generation lies within your hand, young women. You are the mothers of tomorrow. You are the wives of tomorrow. You are the voters and the Christian women of tomorrow. You must be right in your thinking if conditions are to be kept secure for the traditions of a great democracy.”99

The WKKK disseminated the messages of the Tri-K through pamphlet lesson books aimed at young women. In these materials, each letter of “Tri-K-Klub” was identified as relating to a quality or behavior that members of the Tri-K-Klub should cultivate: Trust, Races, Influence, Knowledge, Kindling, Leadership, Unity, and Brains-brawn-breadth. Each of these terms was featured in a corresponding pamphlet explicating the related behavior expected of a Tri-K member in society. In the RACES pamphlet, the authors presented the three major race problems affecting America: southeastern European immigrants, Catholics, and, of course, African Americans. Using rhetoric similar to that presented in textbooks justifying slavery, the anti-immigrant discussion noted the predisposition for some nonwhites to work, eat, and live in a specific manner. One described a southern European immigrant who endangered whites because of his “racial training.” Although he had come to America, his way of life remained unchanged: “He can live on garlic and a little cheap meat. He was never used to more than that, so why does he want (p.85) it here?” The section ends by expressing fear for the future, for his wife (if he has one) “will keep the little dingy hut for him and they will raise from three to five times the number of babies the Anglo-Saxon mothers will raise.”100 This declaration reiterates the text’s core message to white girls: they must protect the future of white America by upholding Protestant, Anglo-Saxon values through marriage to a white man and rearing “a family for God.”101 As for Catholics, “a little study of the Mexican situation will forever put you on guard against Catholic influences.”102

The Tri-K-Klub employed little subtlety in teaching about African Americans: “The Klans believe in white supremacy…. We teach this, practice this and urge at all times no entangling alliances with the negro race.” The central message was that white girls should remove themselves from all contact with blacks, a passive way of preserving white supremacy. The phrase “entangling alliances” contains an undertone suggestive of sexual contact between white girls and black males. The message that white girls must never consider a liaison with an African American man is explicit in the RACES pamphlet, which justified black and white separation in the conclusion: “The Klans have always considered the problem of the negro race, one worthy most careful consideration [sic]” after the Emancipation Proclamation freed “a great band of negroes who did not know the first thing about caring for themselves, and many of whom did not want to be free.”103 Beyond the instruction offered in these pamphlets, parades sponsored by the Klan offered a highly visible way to draw attention to the issue of racial purity and white womanhood. In their role as members of a Klan auxiliary, Tri-K girls often marched in parades to show support of their male counterparts. In one parade, pretty, young white girls waved to the crowds on a float bearing the banner “Miss 100 percent America.”104

The next booklet in the series, INFLUENCE, focuses on how girls can attain the goals set by the Klan. As young women, they should be cheerful in order to gain the confidence of others, as well as energetic, helpful, and determined. For emphasis, the authors capitalized part of the following message: “Don’t hope to get along without taking some strong positions on the questions of the day. This is why the Tri-K-Klub came into existence. That is why you are a member. That is why we are talking to you in this way. We need girls of determination, who are correctly informed, will not yield one step to the arguments and working of un-Americanism.”105 This meant that girls must keep themselves “free from even the suggestion of immodesty and wrong,” for if they failed, the “womanhood of the nation (p.86) tomorrow will suffer irreparable loss.” Girls, the pamphlet demanded, “must be militantly and aggressively good.”106 The WKKK repeatedly stressed that white girls bore the responsibility for the future of white supremacy, which they could accomplish by keeping themselves racially clean through sexual purity: “We would not be in any sense irreverent in telling you again that the Tri-K-Klub exists to deliberately destroy many evil influences that are running riot in America. We expect you to plan as to how you can overthrow such evil influences.”107

While the Tri-K focused on social lessons and appearance, male members of the Junior Klan learned masculinity through action and tradition. Established in 1924, the Junior Klan sought to “aid and assist in promoting and fostering the precepts and principles of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan” for boys between the ages of twelve and eighteen.108 Teenaged boys, in a mixture of patriotism, religion, and ritual, mimicked the actions of adult Klansmen, for the Junior Klan “was a preparation for the responsibilities of adult clannishness.”109 The Kloran, or the “sacred book” of the Junior Klan (whose “contents must be safeguarded and it’s [sic] teachings respected”), detailed the group’s opening and closing rituals, constitution, and by-laws.110 The titles of officers in the Junior Klan reflected the medieval notions and depictions of honor found in the film The Birth of a Nation. The president, known as the Worthy Knight (and assisted by an Honorable Squire), oversaw his junior officers: the Worthy Captain, Worthy Lieutenant, and Worthy Counselor. Membership required the applicant be “a native-born, white, Gentile CHRISTIAN boy of good character” with parental consent and vouched for by two members of the Junior Klan.111

The opening ceremony, which was restricted to members, began with a ritual in which each boy whispered a password and gave a signal, followed by a salute. The Worthy Counselor then placed the Bible, open to the twelfth chapter of Ecclesiastes, on the center of the sacred altar. These verses of Ecclesiastes note that the young do not know of the hardships of the world (“in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not” [12:1]) or the eventual end of the world (“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was” [12:7]). This is followed by acknowledgment of God’s judgment of all things (“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” [12:14]). These lines may have been chosen for use in the opening ceremony because they reflect the goals of the Junior Klan. Youth cannot remain ignorant, but instead must be prepared for the challenges they face. The Klan, like God, must secretly (p.87) prepare to restore order. As future leaders, young men must stand firm “for God, the Holy Bible, the American Constitution, the American flag, and public schools.”112

After all members were verified and the Bible placed on the altar, the opening ritual continued with members saying a devotional prayer, singing “America,” and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The devotional prayer emphasized the masculine nature of the Junior Klan, asking God to “keep us in the bonds of fraternal union” and to “help us to understand that Honor is the crowning virtue of manhood.” In addition to presenting manhood as related to honor, the devotional underscored loyalty, and Junior Klansmen prayed to “observe Klannish fidelity, one toward another, and a devoted loyalty to our great Organization.” The prayer ended with, “God save our nation!”113 The end of the meeting mirrored this lengthy opening ritual. During the closing ceremony, members saluted the flag, repeated the Pledge of Allegiance, recited the Lord’s Prayer, and sang “Onward Christian Soldiers,” reinforcing the idea that these teenage boys served a God-given cause. The meeting concluded with a call-and-response, as the Worthy Lieutenant recited, “I would have all Junior Klansmen remember that Honor is the crowning virtue of American manhood,” and members responded, “On our honor as Junior Klansmen, we will heed well these lessons,” repeating the connection between manhood, honor, and loyalty.114 This emphasis on faithfulness was, of course, necessary for a secret organization. Failure to uphold the promise of the Junior Klan meant “Disgrace, Dishonor and Expulsion from the great American organization.” Any major offense such as disloyalty to the Klan, country, or flag resulted “in banishment forever (emphasis in original).”115

The Junior Klan did not record the content of their meetings due to their confidential nature, yet the constitution and by-laws of the organization demonstrate the rituals and vision of ideal white manhood. These Klan documents reveal the gender differences between young men and women. The Tri-K encouraged girls to do their duty to uphold white supremacy in passive ways, through marriage and motherhood. Tri-K members’ public activities, limited to marching in parades, exhibited white females as examples of public virtue, not active social agents. In contrast, the males in the Junior Klan were prepared, as the passage of Ecclesiastics suggested, to fight for their ideals, and the group’s meetings centered on taking oaths and expressing allegiances, ceremonies similar to those that attend soldiers going off to battle.

Formed by adult men and women for their children, the Klan’s auxiliaries created a space for white children from birth to adulthood to learn (p.88) the rhetoric of white supremacy. Although the South was the stronghold of the re-created Klan, the group also addressed national issues, offering, for example, an anti-immigration platform attractive to many northerners and midwesterners. Another children’s group organized to foster both white supremacy and southern patriotism, the Children of the Confederacy, emerged by the early twentieth century under the umbrella organization the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). Founded by Caroline Douglas Meriwether Goodlett and Anna Davenport Raines in 1894, the UDC sought to keep “alive the sacred principles for which Southern men and boys fought so bravely.”116

The UDC quickly became the most prevalent women’s memorial association.117 Within three years of its founding, it boasted 103 active chapters, and by 1905 its membership had risen to more than one hundred thousand.118 The goals of this distinctly southern group focused on creating a social network, memorializing the war, maintaining a “truthful record of the noble and chivalric achievements” of their veterans, and teaching the next generation “a proper respect for and pride in the glorious war history.”119 Mary Nowlin justified her participation at the first chapter meeting in Lynchburg, Virginia, in June 1915, noting, “I am a Daughter of the Confederacy because I was born a Daughter of the Confederacy” with “a heritage so rich in honor and glory that it far surpasses any material wealth that could be mine.” To Nowlin, the UDC represented the “continuance and furtherance of the true history of the South and the ideals of southern womanhood as embodied in its Constitution.”120

One year after its inception, in 1896, the United Daughters of the Confederacy founded the Children of the Confederacy to teach children the truth about the “War Between the States.” Formed in Georgia, the first chapter of the Children of the Confederacy began with fifteen members.121 The object of the organization included uniting “the children and youth of the South in some work to aid and honor ex-Confederates and their descendents.”122 Membership consisted of southern children from birth to age eighteen whose ancestors had “honorably served the Confederate States of America.”123 Concerned about increasing membership numbers, at the 1909 convention, Cornelia B. Stone urged “greater activity in the organization…. For upon the training of these our boys and girls, our citizens and patriots of the future—depends the perpetuity of the organization.”124 This fear proved unfounded as the organization grew quickly; between 1924 and 1929, women organized 107 new chapters, and by 1929, the UDC convention (p.89) reported children’s membership to be 22,507.125 This rapid growth showed the increased support for the Children of the Confederacy. Despite this growth, the association did not include every white in the South, and many failed to gain membership when they could not definitively prove their Confederate ancestry. Regardless, the UDC’s influence through the Children of the Confederacy was widespread. Their preservation of southern culture and efforts to socialize southern youth into their crusade of glorifying the Confederacy helped to perpetuate sectional differences and prevent reconciliation between the North and South.126 The Children of the Confederacy produced, through their memorialization of the Civil War, an image of southern society that had concrete political and social implications. Not only did this mythical depiction created by white women and children of the New South uphold contemporary white racial convictions, but it rewrote the history of the southern defeat in the Civil War period, creating the image of an independent and indomitable South.127 The Children of the Confederacy still exists today, maintaining its mission through its sponsorship of essay contests and scholarships, and remains a component of their educational experience for many southern white youth.

Like the KKK’s children groups, the UDC utilized the Children of the Confederacy to impart to the rising generations their own white-supremacist vision of the future. Although the UDC found a number of ways to educate white youth, including creating playing cards, games, reciting poetry, and plays, the typical way of teaching Confederate history remained catechisms.128 At their meetings, after members had saluted the Confederate Flag and recited their creed, the ritual of the catechism began. The chapter leader asked a series of historical questions about the South. If a child knew the answer and was acknowledged by the leader, he or she stood and delivered the answer. A correct answer earned the youth three points. If none of the children knew the answer, the leader would say, “Books,” a signal that the children were allowed to search for the answer, but for the reduced reward of one point.129 Like the ceremony-heavy meetings of the Junior Klan, the ritualized meetings of the Children of the Confederacy provided a repetitive structure for white youth, teaching them a historical construct that glorified the antebellum South and slavery as representing the desirable and natural order of the world.

Although each chapter might write its own catechisms, the central theme was a racialized and romanticized nostalgia for the antebellum and Confederate South. One publication, written by Mildred Lewis Rutherford, (p.90) contained a program for youth for every month of 1915. A twenty-five-dollar donation intended to further “the systematic study of Southern history by the children” funded the printing of one thousand copies of Rutherford’s work.130 February’s session on secession began with the song “The Bonnie Blue Flag,” which contained the lines: “Then here’s to our Confederacy, strong are we and brave / Like patriots of old we’ll fight our heritage to save / And rather than submit to shame, to die we would prefer.” The refrain, “Hurrah! For Southern rights, hurrah!” reflects the nostalgia and idealization at the core of the beliefs promoted by the Children of the Confederacy.131 After the song, the competition began with questions framed to elicit answers sympathetic to the white South. Questions included, “Was succession a rebellion?” and “Was the war fought to hold the slaves?” with the correct answer to both questions being a negative.132 Another catechism, created by Cornelia Branch Stone from the Texas UDC, asked, “How were the slaves treated?” The correct answer, according to the students’ text, was, “With great kindness and care in nearly all cases.”133 The issues of slavery and the treatment of slaves form the cornerstone of many auxiliary texts, emphasizing how both blacks and whites reaped benefits from slavery. Rutherford’s auxiliary in July asked members to “describe the happy life of the slaves in the old Plantation” and to read an excerpt from the fictional and highly romanticized book Did-die, Dumps, and Tot to gain an understanding of life under slavery.134 Such connections to fictional literature encouraged the creation of a dominant narrative that idealized black subservience as natural.

Some chapters’ catechisms display the passion of their authors. The John Phifer Young Chapter of Children of the Confederacy in North Carolina offered an example of particularly zealous questions and responses, including, “Did we kill many Yankees?” with the answer, “Yes, thousands and thousands of them.” To the modern reader, some of the questions and answers may seem humorous: “What reason did one Confederate soldier give for giving up? He said, ‘we wore ourselves out whipping the Yankees.’” Other questions use repetition both to emphasize the answer and to excite the passions. The correct response to the question, “Were our Confederate Soldiers and our relatives who fought in the Confederate army traitors?” was a resounding “No! No! No!”135 This requirement to affirm a southern version of historical knowledge, seen as necessary to counter the northern narrative of the Civil War—or, as materials for the Children of the Confederacy, termed it, the “War Between the States”—justified southern history as part of a larger just and glorious cause. As the Creed of the Children of the Confederacy noted, (p.91) the youth of the South pledged “to study and teach the truths of history (one of the most important of which is, that the War Between the States was not a REBELLION, nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery).”136

Adults’ efforts to engage southern youth in imagining themselves as children on plantations or in answering trivia questions about the number of southern slaveholders who fought in the Civil War reflected the mission of the United Daughters of the Confederacy to teach a specific vision of their heritage. Anita McCarty, Anne Braden’s mother, enrolled her in a local chapter of Children of the Confederacy, an organization she describes as designed “to indoctrinate southern youth into the culture of the Confederate ‘Lost Cause.’”137 The organization’s goal was clearly stated: to counter the “false” history taught in schools. At the 1912 conference, the first Children of the Confederacy event was held separate from the United Daughters of the Confederacy; two of the major issues included the promotion of the Children of the Confederacy and “how to meet and correct false and slanderous statements concerning the South and Southern history” in children’s literature. During the meeting, “it was determined to seek a constructive policy and a resolution was passed: ‘That the study of Southern authors shall be considered a part of the regular work of C of C chapters.’”138

To achieve their goal, the Children of the Confederacy leaders took local action. In 1931, one division protested the actions of a local junior high school teacher who had “required her students to prepare booklets with Civil War in large letters across the front.”139 Members attending an annual national convention were proudly told that, during the 1934–1935 school year, “313 books were placed in libraries and 10 pictures were placed in schools.”140 This attempt to reframe history continues, as the director of the Florida UDC, Mary Alice Geary, explained in 2008 that one of the current goals of the Children of the Confederacy is to combat public-school teachings: “As you probably suspect, children do not get the truth about the Confederacy and the War Between the States from their schools…. Unless we intervene, our children will grow up hating their Confederate ancestors based on the myths being perpetrated in schools.”141 By creating the KKK’s auxiliaries and the Children of the Confederacy, white southern adults instituted a ritualized way for white children to learn songs, chants, salutes, prayers, and catechisms—all activities focused on making children active social performers. Through these youth groups, adults taught, modeled, and promoted a historical nostalgia that encouraged children to uphold the social roles their generation needed to maintain white supremacy.

(p.92) Advertisements, games, and toys that reduced African Americans to inhuman caricatures provided white adults and children throughout the nation with a space in which to negotiate and affirm their racial roles. In the South, white adults created youth groups intended to perpetuate this portrayal of African Americans and to impart to children a revised version of southern history. Through these groups, children participated in public performances and social rituals that reinforced a revisionist history. By mimicking the system of white supremacy, children visualized themselves as part of the dominant race. As children grew older and experienced the world on their own, sometimes this idealized southern history clashed with reality. Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin remembered the shock she received when she discovered that the African Americans around her behaved differently from what her cultural socialization had led her to expect. She had anticipated seeing “jolly black laborers” working between the cotton rows and thought she might “hear jokes bandied back and forth and see ‘white teeth gleaming with happy grins.’” When Lumpkin listened for such banter, she “could seem to hear little of it.” She expected friendliness and deference, but her encounters with African American sharecroppers dashed her expectations: “I had thought they would treat me … deferentially, of course, as would be right to the white landowner’s daughter, but also outgoingly, responding with hearty pleasure to my little attempts to be friendly…. They were polite when I spoke to them, but so reticent, it seemed, so very remote. A ‘Yes, ma’am’ or ‘No, ma’am’ and nothing much besides.”142 Taught her entire life that African Americans enjoyed manual labor, Lumpkin lacked the context in which to frame this exchange. Her socialization into the idealization of white supremacy had left her unprepared to face the reality of segregation.


(1.) For the rise of advertising and the creation of consumer markets, see Susan Strasser, Satisfaction Guaranteed: The Making of the American Mass Market (New York: Pantheon, 1989); and Roland Marchand, Advertising the American Dream: Making Way for Modernity, 1920–1940 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1986).

(2.) Grace Hale, Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890–1940 (New York: Pantheon, 1998), 121–68.

(3.) M. M. Manring, Slave in a Box: The Strange Career of Aunt Jemima (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1998); Marilyn Kern-Foxworth, Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and Rastus: Blacks in Advertising, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1994); Micki McElya, Clinging to Mammy: The Faithful Slave in Twentieth-Century America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007).

(4.) See Hale, Making Whiteness, chap. 1; and Donnarae MacCann, White Supremacy in Children’s Literature: Characterizations of African Americans, 1830–1900 (New York: Routledge, 2001), 1–5.

(5.) The historian Eric Lott argues that minstrel shows allowed northern white male (p.178) laborers to appropriate black culture for their own entertainment. In doing so, Lott observes, white men expressed and controlled the fear they felt for the black body. Lott finds that alongside this contempt was a fascination and longing for the transgression that minstrelsy offered. This co-optation worked to reduce black males to bodies that held representations of sexuality, labor, and the anxiety that white men felt about black men (Lott, Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class [New York: Oxford University Press, 1993]).

(6.) William Fitzhugh Brundage, The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005), 105–7.

(7.) Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin, The Making of a Southerner (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1991), 200.

(8.) Ralph McGill, The South and the Southerner (Boston: Little, Brown, 1959), unpaginated; quote is on the first page of chapter 10.

(9.) David Pilgrim, “The Tom Caricature,” Ferris State University Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, www.ferris.edu/news/jimcrow/tom/.

(10.) The image was originally published in 1914 (Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of American History Archives, Warshaw Collection, Foods, General, Folder: Cream of Wheat Oversized, Drawer 17, Folder 18, 1914).

(11.) Anne McClintock, Imperial Leather: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest (New York: Routledge, 1995).

(12.) Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of American History Archives, Ayers Collection, Subject: Cereal, Box 7, Book 49–51, Folder: Cereal and Food 1902–3.

(13.) Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of American History Archives, Warshaw Collection, Cereals, Box 1, Folder: Cream of Wheat, 1907.

(14.) Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of American History Archives, Ayers Collection, Subject: Cereal, Box 7, Book 49–50, Folder: Cereal and Food, 1902–3.

(15.) Mary Louise Roberts discusses Richard Thomas and Anne McClintock’s arguments about ideals of cleanliness and filth by establishing social hierarchies to justify segregation and control of population (Roberts, “Gender, Consumption, and Commodity Culture,” American Historical Review 103, no. 3 [January 1998]: 834).

(16.) Jan Nederveen Pietrese, White on Black: Images of Africa and Blacks in Western Popular Culture (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992); Timothy Burke, Lifebuoy Men, Lux Women: Commodification, Consumption, and Cleanliness in Modern Zimbabwe (Durham: Duke University Press, 1996), 10. See also Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (New York: Grove, 1967).

(17.) Steven Hahn, Roots of Southern Populism: Yeoman Farmers and the Transformation of the Georgia Upcountry, 1850–90 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983); Steven Hahn, A Nation under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004).

(18.) Ladies’ Home Journal, December 1899, back cover.

(19.) McClintock, Imperial Leather, 13. Anne McClintock’s examination of the significance (p.179) of soap in Victorian culture does not explore how other sites imported and used these meanings. Her analysis, however, does provide a useful framework for exploring issues of race and gender in the American South’s advertisements for toiletries (image from BBC online collection “Black Representations in Advertising,” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/02/uk_black_representation_in_advertising/html/3.stm).

(20.) Vincent Vinikas, Soft Soap, Hard Sell: American Hygiene in an Age of Advertisement (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1992), xi.

(21.) Juliann Sivulka, Stronger Than Dirt: A Cultural History of Advertising Personal Hygiene in America, 1875 to 1940 (Amherst, N.Y.: Humanity Books, 2001), chaps. 5 and See also Suellen Hoy, Chasing Dirt: The American Pursuit of Cleanliness (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996).

(22.) Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of American History Archives, Warshaw Collection, Box 2, Folder 21, Fairbanks, N. K., Co.

(23.) Procter & Gamble Company, “I’ll meet you at 9 in my Beauty Parlor,” Ivory Soap Advertising Collection, 1883–1998, http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives/Ivory/detail.asp?index=0207910021.jpg&startCount=20&skipNo=yes&skip_num=4&key=African,Americans&subject=&output=text&dates=1880–1939&coll=Ivory_Soap_Advertising_Collection,_1883–1998&form_genre=. Originally published in Scribner’s Magazine in 1932.

(24.) E. O. Hardin, Phunology: A Collection of Tried and Proved Plans for Play, Fellowship, and Profit (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1923), 429.

(25.) McClintock, Imperial Leather, 184.

(26.) Saidiya Hartman, Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth Century America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 7, see also chap. 1.

(27.) McElya, Clinging to Mammy, 224–28.

(28.) David Pilgrim, “The Picaninny Caricature,” Ferris State University Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, www.ferris.edu/news/jimcrow/picaninny/.

(29.) Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of American History Archives, Warshaw Collection, Baking Powders, Advertising Card Folder 2, Box 1, Folder 3.

(30.) Ibid.

(31.) Image from National Museum of American History Archives, Warshaw Collection, Baking Powders, Box 2, Folder 2125, no date.

(32.) David Pilgrim, “The Picaninny Caricature,” Ferris State University Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. www.ferris.edu/news/jimcrow/picaninny/.

(33.) Image from National Museum of American History Archives, Warshaw Collection, Cutlery, Box 2, Sears and Co.

(34.) McClintock, Imperial Leather, 223–25.

(35.) Arthur A. Krentz, “Play and Education in Plato’s Republic, paper presented at the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, Boston, 1998, www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Educ/EducKren.htm.

(p.180) (36.) John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education (Sioux Falls: NuVision, 2007), 104.

(37.) Ibid., 105–6.

(38.) Donald J. Mrozek, “The Natural Limits of Unstructured Play, 1880–1914,” in Hard at Play: Leisure in America, 1840–1940, ed. Kathryn Grover (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1992), 223; Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan, eds., Literary Theory: An Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004), 431–36. In the early twentieth century, the emerging theorist Sigmund Freud discussed the gratification play provides, introducing the pleasure principle as a motive behind children’s actions, teaching them to avoid unpleasant behaviors and repeat favorable ones, translating their instincts into reason. Another theorist, Jean Piaget, found play to be the primary mode of learning in children, noting that playing allowed children to learn about themselves and others. His peer Lev Vygotsky also perceived play to be an important aspect of child development and viewed children as active agents who used play to imagine the world beyond them (Jennie Lindon, Understanding Children’s Play [Cheltenham, UK: Nelson Thornes, 2001], 28–32).

(39.) Gary Cross, Kids’ Stuff: Toys and the Changing World of American Childhood (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997), 60.

(40.) Ibid., 18, 26.

(41.) Ibid., 23.

(42.) Bernard Mergen, “Made, Bought, and Stolen: Toys and the Culture of Childhood,” in Small Worlds: Children and Adolescents in America, 1850–1950, ed. Elliott West and Paula Petrik (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1992), 94; Miriam Formanek-Brunell, Made to Play House: Dolls and the Commercialization of American Girlhood, 1830–1930 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993), 27; Mergen, “Made, Bought, and Stolen,” 89. See also Carroll W. Pursell Jr., “Toys, Technology, and Sex Roles in America, 1920–1940,” in Dynamos and Virgins Revisited: Women and Technological Change in History (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1979): 252–67.

(43.) James Spero, ed., Collectible Toys and Games of the Twenties and Thirties from Sears, Roebuck and Co. Catalogs (New York: Dover, 1988), 8.

(44.) Ibid., 29.

(45.) Pamela Nelson, “Toys as History: Ethnic Images and Cultural Change,” in Ethnic Images in Toys and Games Balch Institute, www.balchInstitute.org/museum/toys/history.html.

(46.) Spero, Collectible Toys and Games of the Twenties and Thirties, 97. The description also noted that the dancer is “All dressed up in bright colors on a darky-cabin base.”

(47.) Ibid., 59.

(48.) Patricia A. Turner, Ceramic Uncles and Celluloid Mammies: Black Images and Their Influence on Culture (New York: Anchor, 1994), 11.

(49.) Nelson, “Toys as History.”

(50.) Spero, Collectible Toys and Games of the Twenties and Thirties, 55.

(51.) Denis Mercier, “From Hostility to Reverence: 100 Years of African-American (p.181) Imagery in Game,” Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. www.ferris.edu/news/jimcrow/links/games.

(52.) Spero, Collectible Toys and Games of the Twenties and Thirties, 66.

(53.) Mercier, “From Hostility to Reverence,” 2.

(54.) Cross, Kids’ Stuff, 50–51; see also Pursell, “Toys, Technology, and Sex Roles in America, 1920–1940,” 252–67.

(55.) Miriam Formanek-Brunell, “Sugar and Spite: The Politics of Doll Play in Nineteenth-Century America,” in Small Worlds: Children and Adolescents in America, 1850–1950, ed. Elliott West and Paula Petrik (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1992), 108.

(56.) Cross, Kids’ Stuff, 50–51. It is important to note that while some authors argue that while adults used dolls for feminine socialization, daughters often used dolls for their own purposes (Formanek-Brunell, “Sugar and Spite,” 108).

(57.) Howard P. Chudacoff, Children at Play: An American History (New York: New York University Press, 2007), 47.

(58.) Cross, Kids’ Stuff, 80.

(59.) Margaret Adams, ed., Collectible Dolls and Accessories of the Twenties and Thirties from Sears, Roebuck and Co. Catalogs (New York: Dover, 1986), 36. “Topsy” was another “colored” baby doll with three curls of yarn hair that also was dressed in a brightly colored dress (Adams, Collectible Dolls and Accessories of the Twenties and Thirties, 104).

(60.) Bill Schroeder, The Standard Antique Doll Identification and Value Guide, 1700–1935 (Paducah: Collector Books, 1976), 87.

(61.) Cross, Kids’ Stuff, 100.

(62.) Henry Carrington Bolton, The Counting-Out Rhymes of Children: Their Antiquity, Origin, and Wide Distribution, A Study in Folk-lore (Detroit: Singing Tree Press, 1969), 52.

(63.) Ibid., 24.

(64.) This racist rhyme can be traced back to the 1850s (Roger D. Abrahams, ed., Jump Rope Rhymes: A Dictionary [Austin: University of Texas Press, 1969], 61).

(65.) Ibid., 55, 53.

(66.) Confirmed in Mississippi in 1909 (ibid., 61). A taunt from Mississippi: “I know something I ain’t gonna tell, Three little niggers in a coconut shell; One could read, and one could write, And one could smoke his daddy’s pipe” (Marcie C. Brown, Amen, Brother Ben: A Mississippi Collection of Children’s Rhymes [Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1979], 93).

(67.) Abrahams, Jump Rope Rhymes, 36.

(68.) Ibid., 156.

(69.) Ibid., 161.

(70.) Ibid., 115, 208.

(71.) Ibid., 26.

(72.) Ibid., 144–45.

(p.182) (74.) Ethel Theodora Rockwell, Children of Old Carolina: A Historical Pageant of North Carolina for Children (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Extension Bulletin, 1925), 34.

(75.) Ibid., 35.

(76.) Marie Bankhead Owen, How Alabama Became A State: Third of a Series of Children’s Plays in Commemoration of the Close of a Century of Statehood (Montgomery: Paragon Press, 1919), 4.

(77.) Ibid., 8.

(78.) S. Sylvan Simon, ed., Easily Staged Plays for Boys, Nine New Non-Royalty Plays (New York: Samuel French, 1936), 28. This book was recommended for southern schools even though it was published in the North.

(79.) Ibid., 40.

(80.) During segregation, the literature produced for a general churchgoing audience, regardless of denomination, spoke with a remarkably singular voice throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Confederacy’s downfall signaled to many the abandonment by a God who had deserted their cause. As southerners attempted to reconstruct their lives, they also tried to re-create the social order of the antebellum South through Jim Crow segregation, producing their own catechism and hymn books that reflected their religious, racial, and gender beliefs (Gail Murray, American Children’s Literature and the Construction of Childhood [London: Twayne, 1998], 143). Religion is often the site through which daily struggles are resolved as spiritual crises, and an examination of sermons, Sunday school lessons, and church literature makes apparent that many white southerners did use the Bible and religious rhetoric to sanction segregation and white supremacy. As Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham’s examination of the southern black Baptist churches notes, organized religions offer a unifying space for social discourses (Higginbotham, Righteous Discontent: The Women’s Movement in the Black Baptist Church, 1880–1920 [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993]). See also Paul Harvey, “Sweet Homes, Sacred Blues, Regional Identities: Studying Religion, Race, and Culture in the American South,” Religious Studies Review 23 (July 1997): 231–38.

(81.) E. O. Harbin, Phunology: A Collection of Tried and Proved Plans for Play, Fellowship, and Profit, for the Use of Epworth Leagues, Sunday School Classes, and Other Young People’s Societies (Nashville: Dept. of Sunday School Supplies, 1920).

(82.) For more on minstrel shows, see Robert Toll, Blacking Up: The Minstrel Show in Nineteenth-Century America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1974); and Robert Cantwell, When We Were Good: The Folk Revival (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996).

(83.) Eric Lott notes that whites first divided their culture from blacks and then transgressed this divide by watching representations of African Americans that allowed whites to dominate them (Lott, Love and Theft, 484). Robert Cantwell noted that minstrelsy allowed whites to indulge in their fetish for black culture and black bodies (Cantwell, When We Were Good, 60).

(p.183) (84.) Adelaide H. Wyeth, Hunkers’ Corners: An Entertainment in Three Scenes (Chicago: Dramatic Publishing, 1908), 5.

(85.) Lindsey Barbee, The Thread of Destiny (Chicago: Denison, 1914), 6.

(86.) Ibid., 9.

(87.) Sophie Huth Perkins, Mirandy’s Minstrels (Chicago: Denison, 1906), 19.

(88.) Hartman, Scenes of Subjection, chap. 1.

(89.) For a history on the second rise of the Klan, see Nancy MacLean, Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).

(90.) Jackie Hill, “Progressive Values in the Women’s Ku Klux Klan,” Constructing the Past 9, no. 1 (2008): 24.

(91.) Ibid., 22.

(92.) See also Kelli R. Kerbawy, “Knights in White Satin: Women of the Ku Klux Klan” (master’s thesis, Marshall Universitya, 2007).

(93.) Kathleen M. Blee, Women of the Klan: Racism and Gender in the 1920s (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1991), 164.

(94.) Lumpkin, The Making of a Southerner, 136.

(95.) D. W. Griffith and Walter Huston, “Prelude” to Birth of a Nation (Ideal Pictures, 1930).

(96.) Blee, Women of the Klan, 162.

(97.) Lumpkin, The Making of a Southerner, 136.

(98.) Tri-K-Klub, Races: Trust, RACES, Influence: Knowledge: Kindling, Leadership, Unity, Brains-Brawn-Breadth, Tri-K-Klub series no. 3 (Little Rock: Tri-K-Klub, A Department of Women of the Ku Klux Klan, 1915), 3.

(99.) Ibid., 4.

(100.) Ibid., 6.

(101.) Ibid., 10.

(102.) Ibid., 9.

(103.) Ibid., 14.

(104.) Blee, Women of the Klan, 161.

(105.) Tri-K-Klub, Influence: Trust, Races, INFLUENCE: Knowledge: Kindling, Leadership, Unity, Brains-Brawn-Breadth, Tri-K-Klub series no. 4. (Little Rock: Tri-K-Klub, A Department of Women of the Ku Klux Klan, 1915), 5–10.

(106.) Ibid., 12–13.

(107.) Ibid., 15.

(108.) Ku Klux Klan and Junior Klan, Constitution and By-laws Junior Ku Klux Klan (n.p.: Junior Klan Publications, 1924), 5–6.

(109.) Blee, Women of the Klan, 161.

(110.) Ku Klux Klan and Junior Klan, Kloran: Junior Order Ku Klux Klan (n.p.: Junior Klan Publications. 1924), 6.

(111.) Ku Klux Klan and Junior Klan, Constitution and By-laws Junior Ku Klux, 39–40.

(p.184) (112.) Ku Klux Klan and Junior Klan, Kloran: Junior Order Ku Klux Klan, 42–43.

(113.) Ibid., 4–12.

(114.) Ibid., 46–47.

(115.) Ku Klux Klan and Junior Klan, Constitution and By-laws Junior Ku Klux, 44.

(116.) United Daughters of the Confederacy, “Founder and Co-Founder,” www.hqudc.org/about/founder.html.

(117.) Amy L. Heyse, “Teachers of the Lost Cause: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Rhetoric of Their Catechisms” (Ph.D. diss., University of Maryland, 2006), 3.

(118.) Ibid., 83.

(119.) Ibid., 84.

(120.) United Daughters of the Confederacy, “United Daughters of the Confederacy Homepage,” www.hqudc.org/.

(121.) Barbara Jean Emert, The Georgia Division, Children of the Confederacy History, 1912–1987 (Georgia: Children of the Confederacy, Georgia Division, 1988), 1.

(122.) Mary B. Poppenheim, Maude Blake Merchant, and Ruth Jennings Lawton, The History of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (Richmond: Garrett and Massie, 1938), 182.

(123.) Children of the Confederacy, “Children of the Confederacy Homepage,” www.hqudc.org/CofC/.

(124.) Poppenheim, Merchant, and Lawton, The History of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, 183.

(125.) Ibid., 188; Heyes, “Teachers of the Lost Cause,” 95.

(126.) Karen L. Cox, Dixie’s Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2003), 145.

(127.) Heyse, “Teachers of the Lost Cause,” 1–13.

(128.) James M. McPherson, This Mighty Scourge: Perspectives on the Civil War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 96–98.

(129.) Heyes, “Teachers of the Lost Cause,” 172.

(130.) Mildred Lewis Rutherford, Monthly Programs for the Children of the Confederacy (Athens: no publisher or date, but the program is for 1915), 1.

(131.) American Civil War.com, “Confederate Civil War Song Lyrics: The Bonnie Blue Flag Confederate Civil War Song,” http://americancivilwar.com/Civil_War_Music/song_lyrics/bonnie_blue_confederate_song.html.

(132.) Rutherford, Monthly Programs for the Children of the Confederacy, 4.

(133.) Cornelia Branch Stone, U.D.C. Catechism for Children (Staunton: J. E. B. Stuart Chapter no. 10, U. D.C., 1900), quoted in Heyes, “Teachers of the Lost Cause,” 311.

(134.) Rutherford, Monthly Programs for the Children of the Confederacy, 9. Chapter 2 discusses the children’s book Diddie, Dumps, and Tot.

(135.) Heyes, “Teachers of the Lost Cause,” 275–76.

(136.) Children of the Confederacy of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, (p.185) Minutes of the Fourteenth General Convention (Augusta: United Daughters of the Confederacy, 1968), 7. The instructions for an essay contest remind the children to only use the phrase the “War Between the States.”

(137.) Catherine Fosl, Subversive Southerner: Anne Braden and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Cold War South (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), 19. Braden does not discuss this in her autobiography, and there is only one passing mention of it in a biography. Braden has constructed her childhood without discussing such clubs, perhaps for personal or political reasons.

(138.) Emert, The Georgia Division, Children of the Confederacy History, 1912–1987, 3.

(139.) Ibid., 17.

(140.) Ibid., 19.

(141.) United Daughters of the Confederacy, Thomas K. Spencer Chapter #947 Children of the Confederacy, “From Our Director,” www.florida-scv.org/Camp556/augustajane/cofc.htm.

(142.) Lumpkin, The Making of a Southerner, 155.