The Uncommon Man

December 28, 2005

Sundown Towns

A new book has been released called Sundown Towns - A Hidden Dimension of American Racism, by James W. Loewen. It looks at the controversial claim that after Reconstruction some towns in the U.S. set themselves up as "white-only" communities. The title comes from signs that were often posted on the roads entering these towns as one did in Hawthorne, Calif., in the 1930s: "N*****, Don't Let The Sun Set On YOU In Hawthorne."

Apparently the book focuses on those communities that made a conscious effort to be "white-only". It does make me think about those communities that have on overt, but not clearly enforced "white-only" policy. I grew up in such a community: suburb of Boston, 1980's, all-white. I recall a black family moving into town when I was in junior-high school and moving out six-months later. No one said anything to me, but it was clear to me even then that they were made to feel uncomfortable. No signs at the city-limits, but same effect.

via Washington Post - Darkness on the Edge of Town

Posted by Russell at December 28, 2005 09:50 AM


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