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Old 02-05-2011, 01:59 PM
 
Location: New Albany, IN
157 posts, read 251,936 times
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Funny that many of them were/are in Indiana and Illinois. I didn't know they were so common, no one talked about them. The only way I've heard about a town like these is that while I was a student in Macomb (Western Illinois University) there was a little town nearby called Colchester which my friends told me still had a "'n-word' don't be out after dark" sign. This was in 2005. I didn't believe my friends, but I only drove through Colchester a couple of times and had no reason to stop.
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Old 02-05-2011, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Pahoa Hawaii
888 posts, read 2,758,477 times
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The town I grew up in Oregon in the fifties was a sundown town. The first time I saw Black people was on a trip to Portland when I was about 6. I was amazed, never even realized people came in any other colors. We lived in a subdivision that was even more restrictive. It was written into the covenants that there was to be "no livestock, junk, Asians, Negroes or Jews allowed".
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Yorkshire, England
4,589 posts, read 3,699,859 times
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^^^ I'm surprised they were as spread out over the country as it seems from here, and that some people didn't know they existed. I just imagined there'd have been a few dotted around the south and these would have been tiny places anyway. If there are any older black people reading this, what did you make of it at the time?
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Old 02-05-2011, 04:24 PM
Status: "Write the vision and make it plain" (set 29 days ago)
 
31,886 posts, read 37,849,021 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielj72 View Post
This was quite common in Michigan too. To this day small town and rural areas of Michigan are nearly 100% white, while our inner cities are where black people live. You could make an argument that Michigan is one of the most segregated states in the union. The south gets an unfair rap for racism, but if you go there you will find that black and white people live in close proximity much better than they do here. In fact here they dont live anywhere near each other. Ive heard many stories of towns in my part of rural Michigan having signs like the ones described. The south was forced to deal with the race issue 50 years ago, while here in the midwest its never been dealt with and likely never will. People here have segregated themselves by choice now, there are no "jim crow laws" forcing them to be seperate. After so long of being seperate, most people both black and white choose to live only amoung thier own race. In fact its been that way so long no one thinks about it at all. Go to any midwest state and you will find small towns and rural areas almost all white, while the urban cores are largely black. The south is far more integrated, with far less racism.
Actually, Michigan also has communities that were integrated way before many other communities were. Look up information on MI towns like Covert and Baldwin, for example. Vandalia is another such community. This was due to the Underground RR. Farmington and Albion were big UGRR communities as well. So, MI has an interesting history..
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Old 02-05-2011, 04:31 PM
Status: "Write the vision and make it plain" (set 29 days ago)
 
31,886 posts, read 37,849,021 times
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Originally Posted by A_Gazela View Post
Funny that many of them were/are in Indiana and Illinois. I didn't know they were so common, no one talked about them. The only way I've heard about a town like these is that while I was a student in Macomb (Western Illinois University) there was a little town nearby called Colchester which my friends told me still had a "'n-word' don't be out after dark" sign. This was in 2005. I didn't believe my friends, but I only drove through Colchester a couple of times and had no reason to stop.
I read a book that talked about a town by the name of Pekin in Illinois that used to use the nickname of "Chinamen" for its sports teams and it was a Sundown town as well. I also remember when JET magazine had an article about the first Black student at that school in the mid or late 80's too.
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Old 02-06-2011, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Arizona (520)
199 posts, read 216,276 times
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Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
This seems to have happened more in the Northeast and Midwest from what I can tell, but I found a few "sundown towns" in Arkansas and at least one in Alabama.
There was one in Georgia also, a whole county:
Independent Lens . BANISHED . Forsyth County, Georgia | PBS

Forsyth County was one of the banished Sundown Communities. These were towns which at one point had a considerable black population, but they were forced to leave within a day and in some cases immediately, leaving behind homes, possessions, etc... This is documented in the film, Banished.
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Old 02-06-2011, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
9,212 posts, read 12,366,786 times
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Originally Posted by 803andy View Post
There was one in Georgia also, a whole county:
Independent Lens . BANISHED . Forsyth County, Georgia | PBS

Forsyth County was one of the banished Sundown Communities. These were towns which at one point had a considerable black population, but they were forced to leave within a day and in some cases immediately, leaving behind homes, possessions, etc... This is documented in the film, Banished.
I'm currently reading a book, "Searching for Whitopia" by Rich Benjamin, and in part of it he goes and lives in Forsyth County (recent times) for a bit. I haven't gotten that far yet, but he is a black man and I believe he gets out alive.

FWIW, he lived in St. George, UT, and Hayden Lake, ID too. Schmoozed with the locals and even attended a Christian Identity church camp.
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:12 PM
 
Location: New Albany, IN
157 posts, read 251,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
I read a book that talked about a town by the name of Pekin in Illinois that used to use the nickname of "Chinamen" for its sports teams and it was a Sundown town as well. I also remember when JET magazine had an article about the first Black student at that school in the mid or late 80's too.
My friend liked to tell stories about her dad going to Pekin high school. She said the school team was called the "Chinks" (might have been "Chinamen" and Chinks was a nickname), at homecoming events the homecoming king and queen were pulled around on a rikshaw, and during the school song the kids would sing, "Pekin! Pekin! We're all the same! ALL WHITE!"
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:29 PM
Status: "Write the vision and make it plain" (set 29 days ago)
 
31,886 posts, read 37,849,021 times
Reputation: 6431
Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Gazela View Post
My friend liked to tell stories about her dad going to Pekin high school. She said the school team was called the "Chinks" (might have been "Chinamen" and Chinks was a nickname), at homecoming events the homecoming king and queen were pulled around on a rikshaw, and during the school song the kids would sing, "Pekin! Pekin! We're all the same! ALL WHITE!"
I think you are right about the nickname. I knew it was something derogatory.
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Underneath the Pecan Tree
15,831 posts, read 19,955,151 times
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Texas had plenty of them, but the most known was Vidor.
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