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Old 02-04-2011, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Arizona (520)
213 posts, read 361,572 times
Reputation: 211

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I've read tons of books involving U.S. History; however, I only recently became aware of this phenomenon:

http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2005/SundownTowns.jpg
http://www.posteritati.com/jpg/B4/banished_1sh.JPG

"A sundown town in the United States was a town that only allowed white residents. Between 1890 and 1968, many towns across the United States drove out their black and minority populations and took steps to forbid African Americans from living in them. These “sundown towns” were named so because many marked their city limits with derogatory signs forbidding minorities to be present at sundown" - Wikipedia

"According to bestselling sociologist Loewen (Lies My Teacher Told Me), "something significant has been left out of the broad history of race in America as it is usually taught," namely the establishment between 1890 and 1968 of thousands of "sundown towns" that systematically excluded African-Americans from living within their borders. Located mostly outside the traditional South, these towns employed legal formalities, race riots, policemen, bricks, fires and guns to produce homogeneously Caucasian communities—and some of them continue such unsavory practices to this day. Loewen's eye-opening history traces the sundown town's development and delineates the extent to which state governments and the federal government, "openly favor[ed] white supremacy" from the 1930s through the 1960s, "helped to create and maintain all-white communities" through their lending and insuring policies. "While African Americans never lost the right to vote in the North... they did lose the right to live in town after town, county after county," Loewen points out. The expulsion forced African-Americans into urban ghettoes and continues to have ramifications on the lives of whites, blacks and the social system at large......" - Publisher's Weekly Review



Last edited by JMT; 04-04-2013 at 04:52 PM..
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:36 PM
 
2,248 posts, read 6,205,020 times
Reputation: 2078
Oh, yeah. There's a whole bunch of 'em in Indiana and Illinois.

Some of them had signs well into the 1960s along the highway that said "N!99er, don't let the sun set on you in [insert town name]".
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:47 PM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 22,955,873 times
Reputation: 6679
The term seems to be some controversy on the use of the term, but looking it up Illinois and Indiana do look like prime spots for them. Also Darien, Connecticut became known for keeping blacks, and Jews, out with a movie even being made on their exclusion of Jews.

The savage side: reclaiming violent ... - Google Books

http://books.google.com/books?id=bso...20jews&f=false

http://books.google.com/books?id=gnl...20jews&f=false

http://books.google.com/books?id=s4H...blacks&f=false

I'm not sure I knew the exact term "sundown towns" but I certainly knew some towns were "restricted" and did not allow minorities. The entire state of Oregon, I believe, forbade blacks from entering for a time. 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.

Last edited by Thomas R.; 02-04-2011 at 10:04 PM..
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Hernando County, FL
8,488 posts, read 17,932,473 times
Reputation: 5397
It was a phenomenon back in the early 1900's up through the 60's and I am sure that some still exist , of course without the signage, but I have a problem with the author having a website listing some towns as possible sundown towns without really researching.
He has Winter Haven, FL on his list and the town is almost 30% black. If someone is going to malign a town like that you would think they would do some research first.
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Yorkshire, England
5,599 posts, read 8,274,517 times
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I've heard of the idea. Some towns didn't allow black people to be there after dark, just like apartheid South Africa. Sounds pretty surreal to me, but I bet some people alive today still remember them.
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Hernando County, FL
8,488 posts, read 17,932,473 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben86 View Post
I've heard of the idea. Some towns didn't allow black people to be there after dark, just like apartheid South Africa. Sounds pretty surreal to me, but I bet some people alive today still remember them.
If you know how to search older deeds at the clerk of the court in some towns you can find many that actually state on the deed that the property can not be sold to a person of color.
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:55 AM
 
56,533 posts, read 80,824,285 times
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I think the book included places that were Sundown towns and plenty were in the South and West too. I remember when I was in the Army and a guy I was talking from Eastern TN said there was a community that was still like that. This was in 1999, btw.
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:55 AM
Status: "could've~would've~should've used 'have', not 'of'" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,456 posts, read 14,303,163 times
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My mother grew up in a sundown town in Indiana. The blacks lived in a neighboring town. The blacks were allowed to come to the white town to work but had to be gone by sundown.
I've heard some stories from my mother about the accepted treatment of blacks in the area (in the 1940's) that are pretty unbelievable by todays standards.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Somewhere below Mason/Dixon
6,509 posts, read 7,454,824 times
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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.
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:51 AM
 
4,899 posts, read 16,618,002 times
Reputation: 3822
wow--i didnt even know this! sounds horrible, but i know it must be true. they just never taught us in history class.
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