Of the Training of White Americans

When consumers brought racist and racialized goods into their home they endowed them with meaning that lasted well after the moment of sale. On the most basic level, these objects—ranging from doorstops to expensive gift books—taught Americans about the rules of racial hierarchy in the age of Jim Crow segregation laws: "naturally" servile, though prone to laziness and stupidity, African Americans were inferior and available to be treated as objects by elevated, refined, and modern white people. These racial objects also crystallized the desires and anxieties of white people as the mass consumer economy penetrated more and more into the middle class home. As they navigated the promises and perils of consumer abundance, white consumers in no small part secured a sense of stature and identity through mass-produced blackness.