ëSundown townsí :A slice of Americaís racial past

Could it be true that there are cities in the United States of America that actually showed so much hatred that it would force it’s Black citizens out?


In Oct. 2001, James W. Loewen stopped at a convenience store in the small Illinois town of Annaóa name that, as a store clerk confirmed, stands for ìAinít No Niggers Allowed.î

On Nov. 8, 1909, nearly a century before Loewen stepped into the store, a mob of angry white citizens drove out Annaís 40 or so black families following the lynching in a nearby town of a black man accused of raping a white woman. Anna became all-white literally overnight, Loewen reports, and embraced racial exclusiveness for the long haul. According to the 2000 census, just one family with a black member lives among Annaís 7, 000 residents. Anna is far from unique, as Loewen, a sociologist, argues in his powerful and important new book, Sundown Towns (The New Press, 562 pages, $ 29. 95 ). On the contrary, Loewen reports thatóbeginning in roughly 1890 with the end of Reconstruction and continuing until the fair-housing legislation of the late 1960 sówhites in America created thousands of whites-only towns, commonly known as ìsundown townsî owing to the signs often posted at their city limits that warned, as one did in Hawthorne, Calif., in the 1930 s : ìNigger, Donít Let The Sun Set On YOU In Hawthorne.î In fact, Loewen claims that, during that 70-year period, outside the traditional South, ìprobably a majority of all incorporated places (in the United States ) kept out African-Americans.î

Posted by SPN on 11/12 at 12:04 PM in Racism / Prejudice

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