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Mon Feb 11, 2019, 05:18 PM

US 'Sundown Towns,' Hidden Residential Racism, Anti- Black, Mexican, Jewish, Asian, Catholic

“Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism,” 2018 Edition, by James W. Loewen. Truthdig, by contributor Paul Von Blum, Sr. Lecturer in African American Studies & Communication Studies at UCLA. 2/8/19. *EXCERPTS:

Racism has despoiled our nation from its very inception. Slavery and Jim Crow have killed, maimed and degraded millions of human beings of African descent for centuries—a tragic legacy that continues, sometimes overtly, sometimes more subtly, into the early decades of the 21st century. In this 2018 edition of “Sundown Towns,” an update of his groundbreaking 2005 version, Loewen fills in some of the gaps of public ignorance. His findings are appalling. He reveals that racism in America has been even more pervasive, more systemic, more geographically widespread, and therefore more grotesque than most people—even many progressives and well-meaning anti-racists—could ever imagine.

(Click here to read long excerpts from “Sundown Towns” at Google Books).

Loewen pulls no punches in the preface to his new edition: “[S]undown towns kept out African Americans. Some excluded other groups, such as Mexican Americans, Native Americans, or Asian Americans, Jews, even Catholics, and Mormons. These places get called ‘sundown towns’ because some, in past decades, placed signs at their city limits typically saying some version of ‘Nigger, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on You in [name of town].’”Loewen’s new edition locates the history of sundown towns in the context of contemporary events, with the resurgence of racism in the Trump era and the resulting increase of overt white supremacist rhetoric and activity, but also with more energetic African-American resistance including the Black Lives Matter movement.

The present book documents the “second generation” sundown town phenomenon. In the author’s home state of Illinois, by his estimate, there are still 507 sundown towns—two-thirds of the towns in the state. Fortunately, sundown towns are declining, suggesting a slow but steady change in the attitudes of the dominant white population in America. Still, workforces in former sundown towns even now reflect the residual racism of the earlier exclusionary residential policies: Police officers, teachers, trash collectors and other jobs remain all or predominantly white. The ideology of white supremacy lingers, sometimes strongly, even while a few people of color begin moving into these towns in the 21st century.

Until he published the first edition of this book, there was almost no literature about all-white towns in the United States. Of the relatively few people who knew anything about sundown towns, most probably thought it was a Deep South phenomenon. It was not. This book documents hundreds of non-Southern towns that for decades excluded blacks from living within their limits. “Sundown Towns” accounts a phenomenon that touched me personally and fundamentally informed the entire course of my life.
Loewen examines the creation of the three white-only Levittowns in NY, Pa. and NJ, begun in the early 1950s. Levitt & Sons, the largest postwar homebuilder in America, built 8% of postwar suburban housing—all sundown, and refused to sell to blacks. Levitt, himself a Jew, had earlier used restrictive covenants to ban Jews from developments he built. As he noted, “it was strictly business.”...

READ MORE, https://www.truthdig.com/articles/residential-racism/
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Wiki, 'Sundown Towns.' In Colorado: "No Mexicans After Night". In Connecticut: "Whites Only Within City Limits After Dark". In Nevada, the ban was expanded to include Japanese. Jews were also excluded from living in some sundown towns, such as Darien, Conn. 'Gentleman's Agreement' (1947), was the only feature film [of that era] to treat sundown towns seriously, Elia Kazan's Academy Award-winning movie [exposed] Darien, Conn., as an anti-Jewish sundown town." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundown_town





'The Negro Motorists Green Book,' 1954 edition. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Negro_Motorist_Green_Book

Wiki. The Negro Motorist Green Book (at times styled The Negro Motorist Green-Book or titled The Negro Travelers' Green Book) was an annual guidebook for African-American roadtrippers, commonly referred to simply as the Green Book. It was originated and published by New York City mailman Victor Hugo Green from 1936 to 1966, during the era of Jim Crow laws, when open and often legally prescribed discrimination against non-whites was widespread.

Although pervasive racial discrimination and poverty limited black car ownership, the emerging African-American middle class bought automobiles as soon as they could, but faced a variety of dangers and inconveniences along the road, from refusal of food and lodging to arbitrary arrest. In response, Green wrote his guide to services and places relatively friendly to African-Americans, eventually expanding its coverage from the New York area to much of North America, as well as founding a travel agency.

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Reply US 'Sundown Towns,' Hidden Residential Racism, Anti- Black, Mexican, Jewish, Asian, Catholic (Original post)
appalachiablue Feb 2019 OP
Thomas Hurt Feb 2019 #1
appalachiablue Feb 2019 #5
Gothmog Feb 2019 #2
appalachiablue Feb 2019 #6
Gothmog Feb 2019 #7
appalachiablue Feb 2019 #8
lynintenn Feb 2019 #3
appalachiablue Feb 2019 #4
hurple Feb 2019 #9

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 05:35 PM

1. Good book, this is in my library, read this ten years ago or so.

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Response to Thomas Hurt (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:01 PM

5. The book looks very interesting, and a much needed study.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 05:49 PM

2. Vidor Texas may still be a sundown town

Santa Fe Texas used to be a sundown town.

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:02 PM

6. Love Santa Fe, never knew it was a 'sundown town.' Portland, OR,

Last edited Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:39 PM - Edit history (1)



Luncheonette sign in Portland, Oregon, "We cater to white trade only," The Oregon History Project.

https://oregonhistoryproject.org/articles/historical-records/luncheonette-sign-we-cater-to-white-trade-only/#.XGH40q81vIU

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Response to appalachiablue (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 07:28 PM

7. I know a number of ADL board members and have a friend who works for ADL

This is Santa Fe Texas which is a small community between Houston and Galveston where there was a school shooting.

A while back there was a SCOTUS case on school prayer with some John Doe plaintiffs. The school was conducting long baptist prayers at all foot ball games and the school was sued. The SCOTUS ruled against the school in an important First Amendment case.

There was one Jewish family in Santa Fe and so the bigots who were defending the school prayers decided that the Jews had to be the John Doe plaintiffs and harassed the family so much that they had to move (with some help from the ADL and other groups). It turned out that the Jewish family was not involved in this case and it was some other parents who were the real plaintiffs.

Santa Fe used to be a sun down city until the early 2000s

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 05:54 PM

3. The movie Green book shows you how bad this was.

Having grown up in the south (near Memphis)during the 50's and 60's I never knew this law existed. I loved the movie but felt ashamed that the actually happened.

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Response to lynintenn (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:00 PM

4. Movie looks good, a shameful time that many didn't know about.



"GREEN BOOK'' (2018) movie trailer.

Green Book Movie, Smithsonian
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/true-story-green-book-movie-180970728/




'Gentleman's Agreement,' 1947. A journalist assigned to write a series of articles on anti-semitism. Searching for an angle, he finally decides to pose as a Jew-and soon discovers what is to be a victim of religious intolerance. Gregory Peck, John Garfield, Dorothy McGuire, directed by Elia Kazan.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 01:26 AM

9. Unfortunately

I live in central IL. Right in the heart of the area(s) he uses to frame the book. It hasn't changed at all. In fact, while we were shopping for temporary housing a few years ago following a house fire, I was told by a landlord in a neighboring town, "Don't worry, we still keep *them* out." I just responded, "OK" and walked away.



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