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Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of…
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Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism (2005 original; edició 2018)

de James W. Loewen (Autor)

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421646,528 (4.23)5
Loewen (emeritus, sociology, U. of Vermont) exposes the history and persistence of "sundown towns," so-named for the signs often found at their corporate limits warning African Americans and other minorities not to be found in the town after dusk. He historically situates the rise of the sundown town movement in the years following the Civil War; describes the mechanisms of violence, threats, law, and policy that were used to force minorities out of Northern and Western towns into the big cities; and charts the continued existence of such communities. In considering the sociology of sundown towns he investigates the causes that underlie the existence of sundown towns and discusses why the phenomena has remained largely hidden. The social costs of sundown towns on whites, blacks, and the social system are then detailed and recommendations for fixing this blight on the body politic are proffered. Includes information on Anna, (Illinois), anti Semitism, Appalachian region, Appleton (Wisconsin), Arkansas, Asian Americans, Atlanta (Georgia), Berwyn (Illinois), Beverly Hills (California), black Americans, Boley (Oklahoma), Brown v. Board of Education, George W. Bush, Buchanan v. Warley, Cairo (Illinois), California, Chicago (Illinois), Chinese Americans, Cicero (Illinois), Corbin (Kentucky), Cullman (Alabama), Darien (Connecticut), Dearborn (Michigan), Democratic Party, Detroit (Michigan), Du Quoin (Illinois), economic factors, Edina (Minnesota), educational aspects, Effingham (Illinois), employment, Florida, Fond du Lac (Wisconsin), Forsyth County (Georgia), Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, Gainesville (Florida), Glendale (California), Granite City (Illinois), Great Migration, Great Retreat, Greenwich (Connecticut), Grosse Pointe (Michigan), Harrison (Arkansas), Highland Park (Texas), Idaho, Illinois, immigration, Indiana, Jews, Jonesboro (Illinois), Kenilworth (Illinois), Ku Klux Klan, legal aspects, Long Island (New York), Los Angeles (California), lynchings, Martinsville (Indiana), Medford (Oregon), Mississippi, Missouri, Native Americans, New York, Norman (Oklahoma), Oak Park (Illinois), Ohio, Ocoee (Florida), Orlando (Florida), Owosso (Michigan), Pana (Illinois), Pierce City (Missouri), Pinckneyville (Illinois), political factors, racial stereotypes, real estate aspects, Republican Party, Rosewood (Florida), segregation, Sheridan (Arkansas), signs in sundown towns, social class factors, Jones v. Mayer, Milliken v. Bradley, Plessy v. Ferguson, Shelley v. Kraemer, Valparaiso (Indiana), voting rights, Warren (Michigan), Washington, D.C., West Frankfort (Illinois), white Americans, Wisconsin, Wyandotte (Michigan), Zeigler (Illinois), etc.… (més)
Membre:joehamlin
Títol:Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism
Autors:James W. Loewen (Autor)
Informació:The New Press (2018), Edition: Illustrated, 568 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:US race relations, US race history, Oregon, Republican perfidy

Detalls de l'obra

Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism de James W. Loewen (2005)

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Scholarly works can be difficult to write in a way that appeals to non-academic readers. This one does a good job of engaging and enraging those who are unaware that locales that banned Black people ("Don't let the sun go down on you in this town") were mostly Midwestern rather than Southern. The good professor starts by going back to the brief progressive period (1865 - 1889), when the Confederacy was reviled and Black people served in legislatures, and the beginning of "The Nadir" and "The Great Retreat" (1890 - 1940), when Black people were forced from integrated small towns into large cities and into non-citizenship. It's a fraught and dangerous period, filled with white riots, murders, lynchings, and burning of homes. It's also when the worship of the Confederacy, "the glorious cause", revived and remains a major dividing line, through Nixon's "Southern Strategy" and Trump's blatant support of white supremacy.

Quotes: "After 1890, most whites no longer viewed slavery and racism as the problem. Now Black people themselves were seen as the problem, by white northerners as well as southerners."

"Black people increasingly lived in separate neighborhoods, and whites no longer had the benefit of knowing them individually, so whites fell back into stereotypical racist thinking.

"From its inception, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) set itself up as the protector of all-white neighborhoods and as the most important single cause of residential segregation. And every town or community planned by a single developer or owner between 1890 - 1960 kept out Black people from its beginnings. "

"White racism therefore became first and foremost a rationale for African slavery. Even after it ended, slavery was responsible for the continuing stigmatization of Black Americans."

"Living in an all-white community leads many residents to defend living in an all-white community. Residents of elite sundown suburbs are free to infer that Black people are inferior, which explains their absence. Stereotypes imply that as soon as Black people "really apply themselves", our racial problems will be fixed."

"White misbehavior, not alleged Black inferiority, is the source of America's racial problem." ( )
  froxgirl | Sep 25, 2020 |
James Loewen is the well-known author of Lies My Teacher Told Me which is an excellent primer on the portions of history that aren’t really covered in school. Sundown Towns is his treatment of the practice of counties, towns, and suburbs that intentionally excluded blacks and other non-whites from living within their boundaries. Such towns popularly had signs at the city limits that stated things like “No n***ers after sundown!”, hence the term.

I listened to the audio version of the book. I’ve found that in audio form, repetition in a book is really drilled into my brain. In a work of fiction, repeated story tics become extremely apparent and are distracting. In a book like Sundown Towns the sheer number of examples of sundown practices is a flood in my brain. I didn’t think about much else for the duration.

And Loewen’s examples in the book alone become a litany. The conception I, a suburban-educated middle-aged white guy, had was that they were ugly but not particularly common. The best examples Loewen has litter Illinois and Indiana to the point that non-exclusionary towns were in the minority in those states. In addition, descriptions of the practices themselves make me think that the North’s sundown towns were far more racist than the South’s Jim Crow laws. That’s an outside assessment by a white dude after reading this book, so I don’t think it holds a lot of weight. But I think it’s clear that us northerners can’t be smug about the South being the racist part of the country, which I often have been. ( )
1 vota KingRat | Nov 19, 2017 |
This was a difficult read. I remember asking my mom when I was kid why there was this neighborhood outside of town that was only black families and she couldn't give me an answer. It was just "there." As were other neighborhoods that were a majority Latino.

Sundown Towns gives us the real history of why we still live in mostly segregated communities. If a city or neighborhood is mostly white today, it is not by accident. There is most likely a history of systematic exclusion of people of color. There were also federal
policies that prohibited blacks from benefitting from FHA loans that went to mostly white people. Even after fair housing laws went into effect local communities still rebelled and the national government refused to enforce their laws.

After the civil war, free blacks settled in communities all across the country. But by the 1890s a change occurs and population records show a sudden decline of African Americans in the North. What happened? Where did they go? Loewen traces this tragic pattern that repeats in our history to the present day.

Every white person needs to read this book. We need to understand the reality of systematic oppression our country has placed on African American citizens. We need to come to grips with the fact that we largely remain ignorant and that our ancestors for the most part just let it happen. The evidence is overwhelming. And now we see the repercussions but are reluctant to take responsibility first in our own hearts. That's where it is going to need to start.

After finishing this book I did a little research on my home town and surrounding cities. It was shocking to read that my little town in California did indeed have policies in place before the 1960s to excluded African Americans from buying property. As late as the 1990s the city tried to use eminent domain to raze another traditionally black neighborhood to expand a shopping mall. Palm
Springs, our more famous neighboring city actually used eminent domain to raze a whole section of town that was home to African Americans and forced them to move to another part of town many people lost the personal possessions and were never compensated. This happened in the early 1960s to make way for the Palm Springs convention center. Indian Wells, also near my home town of Indio, is one of the wealthiest communities in the country that also excluded blacks and to this day is still predominantly white. Knowing this is it a surprise that Serena Williams faced racist jeers at the Indian Wells tennis tournament In 2001?

At the end of the book Loewen gives some suggestions for moving forward. I'm thankful for his research and bringing this painful subject into the light so we can be more understanding and move in the direction of real change.


( )
2 vota kerchie1 | Jun 9, 2017 |
Context - I'm white, and I grew up in a small town in the North.

Well, I for one am not surprised to learn how many sundown towns there were, and that many still exist. I do believe it gets easier, every year, for activists to get government policies updated, racist cops reprimanded, etc. - but I also believe we've got a ways to go.

I live in a poor neighborhood in a small city. We are integrated to the overall level that northern Nevada is, I'm pretty sure. Many of our cops and teachers are non-white. Of course, our principle minority is Hispanic, mostly of first or second generation - does that make a difference? Otoh, it is interesting to note that the 'best' elementary school district is more white - how much of that is de facto, how much de jure, and how hard is it for non-white families to move in & feel comfortable there?

And then there's the big cities. I admit I have never lived in or very near one. My ex-husband lived in an integrated neighborhood in Minneapolis, but it was not one of the 'nicest' neighborhoods. Did African-Americans try to move out of it, and if they did, could they succeed? When I visited Atlanta (two decades ago), why was I the only white person on the subway? I was never made to feel the least bit uncomfortable - did I make the regular users feel uncomfortable? When I visited Washington D.C. a few years after that, the subways seemed integrated - blacks & whites in suits, blacks & whites in sloppy casual. Is that a good sign?

This book seems like it would be a very good reference for anyone who is still noticing government sanctioned, remediable issues. I admit that I only scanned it. As I said in my first comments, I do not need the whole book to tell me that a problem does exist. so I skipped to the last chapter, the one that discusses remediation. I don't feel I read enough to rate it.

I would be delighted to ship this book, free, to any interested US reader.
1 vota Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
This book is a fairly large and educational work on the widespread nature of "sundown towns" as recently as 1970 with many still in existence today. Basically a sundown town (or neighborhood, suburb, county, state) is a place that excludes black people from being able to live there usually by posting signs that say "Nigger Don't Let the Sun Go Down on You in ___." Blacks may be allowed to shop there or drive through during the day, but if they were found within city limits after dark, the results have often been fatal. This book also serves to eliminate the myth that the South is the main antagonist towards blacks, because the vast majority of sundown towns were actually in the North and West. This book was written primarily because it's a part of history that most Americans know nothing about...it's something that towns have tried to keep secret and are perhaps ashamed of today. However, it's an important topic to research because the persistence of many of these sundown areas help to explain why many blacks still do not live in certain parts of the country while pretty much every other minority group is fairly evenly spread out. Since blacks were often kept out of suburbs, this added an even bigger element of racism because they were then denied access to better schools.

I liked this book because I'm already interested in this subject. It reads like an interesting textbook, but parts can be fairly statistics-heavy or just show example after example of instances...which I think is important to emphasize what a big problem this has been in our country, but doesn't always make for the smoothest read. ( )
2 vota araridan | Apr 6, 2008 |
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Loewen (emeritus, sociology, U. of Vermont) exposes the history and persistence of "sundown towns," so-named for the signs often found at their corporate limits warning African Americans and other minorities not to be found in the town after dusk. He historically situates the rise of the sundown town movement in the years following the Civil War; describes the mechanisms of violence, threats, law, and policy that were used to force minorities out of Northern and Western towns into the big cities; and charts the continued existence of such communities. In considering the sociology of sundown towns he investigates the causes that underlie the existence of sundown towns and discusses why the phenomena has remained largely hidden. The social costs of sundown towns on whites, blacks, and the social system are then detailed and recommendations for fixing this blight on the body politic are proffered. Includes information on Anna, (Illinois), anti Semitism, Appalachian region, Appleton (Wisconsin), Arkansas, Asian Americans, Atlanta (Georgia), Berwyn (Illinois), Beverly Hills (California), black Americans, Boley (Oklahoma), Brown v. Board of Education, George W. Bush, Buchanan v. Warley, Cairo (Illinois), California, Chicago (Illinois), Chinese Americans, Cicero (Illinois), Corbin (Kentucky), Cullman (Alabama), Darien (Connecticut), Dearborn (Michigan), Democratic Party, Detroit (Michigan), Du Quoin (Illinois), economic factors, Edina (Minnesota), educational aspects, Effingham (Illinois), employment, Florida, Fond du Lac (Wisconsin), Forsyth County (Georgia), Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, Gainesville (Florida), Glendale (California), Granite City (Illinois), Great Migration, Great Retreat, Greenwich (Connecticut), Grosse Pointe (Michigan), Harrison (Arkansas), Highland Park (Texas), Idaho, Illinois, immigration, Indiana, Jews, Jonesboro (Illinois), Kenilworth (Illinois), Ku Klux Klan, legal aspects, Long Island (New York), Los Angeles (California), lynchings, Martinsville (Indiana), Medford (Oregon), Mississippi, Missouri, Native Americans, New York, Norman (Oklahoma), Oak Park (Illinois), Ohio, Ocoee (Florida), Orlando (Florida), Owosso (Michigan), Pana (Illinois), Pierce City (Missouri), Pinckneyville (Illinois), political factors, racial stereotypes, real estate aspects, Republican Party, Rosewood (Florida), segregation, Sheridan (Arkansas), signs in sundown towns, social class factors, Jones v. Mayer, Milliken v. Bradley, Plessy v. Ferguson, Shelley v. Kraemer, Valparaiso (Indiana), voting rights, Warren (Michigan), Washington, D.C., West Frankfort (Illinois), white Americans, Wisconsin, Wyandotte (Michigan), Zeigler (Illinois), etc.

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