by Barbara Kyles
Do you know?
A sundown or sunset town was a town, city, or neighborhood in the US that excluded non-whites after dark. The term sundown came from the signs that were posted stating that people of color had to leave the town by sundown.
Take a look at this story from Dorothy Weaver…
A sundown or sunset town was a town, city, or neighborhood in the US that excluded non-whites after dark. The term sundown came from the signs that were posted stating that people of color had to leave the town by sundown. In most cases, signs were placed at the town’s borders which read: “Negro, Don’t Let the Sun Set On You Here.” The exclusion was official town policy or through restrictive covenants agreed to by the real estate agents of the community. Often, the policy was enforced through intimidation. This intimidation could occur in a number of ways, including harassment by law enforcement officers or neighbors, and in some circumstances violence. The phenomenon of sundown towns was the impetus for Harlem civil rights activist Victor Green to write the Negro Motorist Green Book, which detailed safe places for Black travelers to rest and eat without fear of harassment, threats or death. With the 1968 Fair Housing Act, sundown towns became illegal — on paper. Many people are surprised to learn that some of the places they live, were once sundown towns. Contrary to popular belief, sundown towns were a Northern and not Southern phenomenon. #TeachTheChildren
Barbara Kyles is a Miami Township resident who enjoys advocating for social issues and gardening year-round.
Barbara will be publishing a continuing series about Black History for Loveland Magazine.