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Raising RacistsRaising Racists

The Socialization of White Children in the Jim Crow South

Kristina DuRocher

Narrated by Lisa S. Ware

Available from Audible

Book published by The University Press of Kentucky

White southerners recognized that the perpetuation of segregation required whites of all ages to uphold a strict social order — especially the young members of the next generation. White children rested at the core of the system of segregation between 1890 and 1939 because their participation was crucial to ensuring the future of white supremacy. Their socialization in the segregated South offers an examination of white supremacy from the inside, showcasing the culture's efforts to preserve itself by teaching its beliefs to the next generation.

In Raising Racists: The Socialization of White Children in the Jim Crow South, author Kristina DuRocher reveals how white adults in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries continually reinforced race and gender roles to maintain white supremacy. DuRocher examines the practices, mores, and traditions that trained white children to fear, dehumanize, and disdain their black neighbors. Raising Racists combines an analysis of the remembered experiences of a racist society, how that society influenced children, and, most important, how racial violence and brutality shaped growing up in the early-twentieth-century South.

Kristina DuRocher is assistant professor of history at Morehead State University.


Raising Racists reveals the interlocking practices, mores, and traditions that trained white children to fear, disdain, and dehumanize their black neighbors. Through crisp, compelling, and trenchant discussions of school texts, consumer goods, violent rituals of black debasement, and day-to-day lessons in Jim Crow etiquette, DuRocher reminds us how much energy and care went into each successive generation of white southerners the ideology of white supremacy.”

—W. Fitzhugh Brundage, author of A Socialist Utopia in the New South: The Ruskin Colonies in Tennessee and Georgia, 1894-1901

“DuRocher painstakingly describes the role of parents, teachers and community leaders in 'parental instruction, public schools, churches, and the expansion of consumerism in the South...”

History Wire

“Hard-hitting.... Examining white Southerners' memoirs, advertisements for household products, school textbooks, parenting manuals, children's literature, toys and games, and dramatic productions, Raising Racists reveals the multiple interlocking and mutually reinforcing methods white Southerners used to perpetuate white supremacy in the post-Reconstruction South.”

Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

“Much has been written about the battles and the privates and the generals who were committed to their cause, but many of us who look back after a century and a half do not comprehend the full effect of that bloody war on this new country, less than a century after it won independence from Great Britain.”

Roanoke Times

“Thoroughly exposes a crippled southern society in the wake of the Civil War, still determined to preserve its racial and social control through new generations, and reveals the extent to which southerners manipulated their public and private institutions to that end.”

Southern Historian

“Contributes to our growing yet still limited understanding about the central roles that children and young people played in the construction and maintenance of oppressive sociopolitical systems and identities.”

American Historical Review

“With an important set of questions to consider, extensive evidence to draw upon, and a large body of scholarship to engage, DuRocher's study promises a great deal. Her thoughtful analysis frequently offers valuable observations about children's experiences.”

Ohio Valley History

“DuRocher...has successfully revised her dissertation into an important monograph that scholars interested in souther regional identity, children's history, and the making of white supremacist masculinites and femininities will find valuable.”

North Carolina Historical Review

“DuRocher's work continues the recent laudable trend of taking age more seriously as a category of analysis, and her careful research provides a timely reminder that communities are defined by the education of their children.”

Journal of Southern History

“In her book, Raising Racists: The Socialization of White Children in the Jim Crow South, DuRocher takes the reader on a journey into the shaping of the minds of white children into accepting white supremacy and public rituals of racial violence.”

Black Diaspora Review

Raising Racists is a well-written, well-researched account of the ways white supremacists systematically indoctrinated children into a way of life that made rational the cruel, often lethal violence directed toward African Americans.”

Louisiana History

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