essay .................... Sundown Towns and Counties Racial Exclusion in the South by James W. Loewen In her memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou (here) characterizes Mississippi with the phrase, "Don't Let the Sun Set on You Here, Nigger, Mississippi." In reality, sundown towns were rare in most of Dixie, and the places they did spread reveal interesting facets of the region's racial history after Reconstruction. At the Clinton Inauguration in 1993, courtesy of the White House. etween 1890 and 190, thousands of towns across the United States drove out their black populations or took steps to forbid African Americans from living in them, creating "sundown towns," so named because many marked their city limits with signs typically reading, "Nigger, Don't Let The Sun Go Down On You In _." In addition, some towns in the West drove out or kept out Chinese Americans, and a few excluded Native Americans or Mexican Americans. "Sundown suburbs" developed a little later, most between 1900 and 198, many of which kept out not only African Americans but also Jews.1 This is a misunderstood phenomenon, especially as manifested in the North. African Americans surely never uprooted by choice, and
Southern Cultures – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Feb 21, 2009
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