TitleWhy black children can't grow up
NamePatton, Stacey Pamela (author), Yans, Virginia S (chair), Lears, T.J. Jackson (internal member), Price, Clement A (internal member), Lewis, David Levering (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
African American children,
African Americans--Social conditions--To 1964,
DescriptionThis dissertation explores how black childhood was constructed as a racial ideology during the Jim Crow era. I discuss how the extension of white childhood and the construction of the white child’s innocence depended upon the curtailment and demonization of the black child. Using oral narratives, medical studies, visual imagery, literature, sociological data, intelligence
tests, court records and news articles, the individual chapters reveal how the racialization of the black child unfolded at each developmental milestone of life – birth, adolescence, and puberty. The insidious consequences, past and present, was foundational to the formation of a post-Emancipation racial hierarchy and to various regimes of social control in American society. Unlike their parents and grandparents, the Jim Crow era’s black children grew up as free citizens and free laborers with no memory of slavery. And so a new ideology of repression emerged to contain them, to cast doubt upon their capabilities for citizenship and intellect, to exempt them from the powerful category of innocence, and to demean the value of their labor. Without the racialization of black children, without controlling their minds and their bodies, they would have grown to be full and equal citizens. My agenda expands beyond victimization to hope, telling how African-American parents, both leaders and ordinary folk along with their white allies, created a rich counter narrative to defend and protect black children. In
hopes of inspiring institutional reform and positive change in the age of Obama, this historical
investigation seeks to help contemporary Americans understand how racism shaped cultural stereotypes and social welfare policies so damaging to black children.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Stacey Pamela Patton
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.