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Sundown Towns

A Hidden Dimension of American Racism

Loewen, James W.

(eBook - 2005)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Sundown Towns
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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.
Publisher: New York : New Press : Distributed in the United States by Norton, 2005
ISBN: 1595586741
9781595586742
Characteristics: 1 online resource : ill., maps

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Aug 18, 2013
  • jawhitepenn rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This book has proved to be a great teaching tool. The author's research is excellent and the story is one that has, heretofore, been poorly reported.

The issues of racism and place, discrimination and location regarding African Americans has been fundamental to American urbanization. Despite this, theories of urbanization, assimilation and pluralism have disregarded this core matter for decades.

The roles of all levels of United States governments, in creating and supporting towns that, by their laws, would not admit African Americans is given attention here. Most significant is the fact this is essentially a Northern, American phenomenon.

Loewen's contribution cannot be underestimated and my urban studies students as well as my own intellectual growth are benefactors.

Jun 30, 2012
  • shizuku_san rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Wow. This book provides a compelling and well-researched explanation for why America is segregated even today. Should be required reading in American history courses; however, don't let that fool you into thinking that it's difficult to read. I agree with the previous comment... recommend this book to anyone.

Sep 07, 2010
  • brekhusr rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I'd recommend this book for anyone who uses "Mayberry" as a synonym for utopia, anyone who thinks institutionalized or violent racism is a "Southern thing" (or even: a southern Missouri thing, a southern Illinois thing, etc.) anyone who assumes African Americans have lived clustered in cities since the Great Migration from the South...well, basically anyone who thinks they have a pretty good idea why people of different races live where they live today. Not to mention anyone who needs convincing of the importance of documenting local history, good, bad and ugly, or is just curious about life in these United States. In a word, I recommend this book to...anyone.

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app16 Version fyrfaldig Last updated 2014/11/27 14:04