Chapter

Consumerism Meets Jim Crow’s Children:

Kristina DuRocher

in Raising Racists

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780813130019
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135571 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813130019.003.0004
Consumerism Meets Jim Crow’s Children:

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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

Chapter.  12032 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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