In addition to his book, Loewen also continues to chronicle confirmed and suspected sundown towns on a website. The moon shines through clouds along a highway in New Columbia, Ill., near Vienna, Ill., on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020. In 1986, anthropologist John Coggeshall wrote about thirteen Southern Illinois communities; most were probably sundown towns when he wrote; I have confirmed at least five. Illinois had almost 150 sundown towns in the state alone. “Sundown towns” like Anna were places where Black people were allowed in during the day to work or shop but had to be gone by nightfall. Dexter sees hope in the dozens of former sundown towns that have held racial justice protests, from the infamous Illinois sundown town of Anna to Hopewell, Michigan, once home to a powerful Ku Klux Klan leader, which Black Detroit residents have long avoided. Dusk settles over Anna, Ill., on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020. For Madison County, the county SIUE is located within, East … Instead, he found hundreds, from neighborhoods on Chicago’s North Shore to suburbs in the center of the state to small towns in southern Illinois, such as Anna. Share what you learn about sundown towns. Sundown towns were not just places, but a mentality (a way of thinking). As a result, sundown towns pose problems that traditional testing cannot uncover. This is their story; it is the first book ever written on the topic. The fear of bodily harm was and is still real to African Americans. The New Sundown Town Mentality. James W. Loewen Washington, Dec. 27, 2009 But it wasn’t only rural towns as small as Alix. Loewen acknowledges that even today a number of sundown town communities remain predominantly white, and in Southern Illinois, several communities continue to carry strong sundown town reputations. At their height, there were thousands and thousands of sundown towns across the U.S. Loewen's original research — based on U.S. census numbers, oral histories and written history — showed that, of the 671 towns in Illinois with more than 1,000 people, 71 percent were all-white, and almost all were all-white on purpose. And of course, a town may have been sundown once, but now is not. CS1 maint: unfit URL ; Huber, Patrick (2002). Below is a chart which lists all cities in Illinois with KKK organizations from 1915-1940. Sundown Towns in the D.C. Metropolitan Area: a Comparative Analysis. Author James Loewen. Performing History: Oral Histories of Sundown Towns in Southern Illinois. Some towns are not and never were sundown towns but are listed for other reasons. In Toward New Towns for America, C. S. Stein treats Radburn, New Jersey; … They drive successfully across Illinois — where there’s at least 500 sundown towns. “I do think that there are lots of changes, and progress, being made today. One more observation: many of the places listed as sundown towns, confirmed and unconfirmed, also include some of the largest cities from Illinois, including 2 confirmed cities that are Chicago suburbs. ProPublica Illinois held a webinar Tuesday on the topic of “From Sundown Towns to Black Lives Matter: Race and Racism in Small-Town America.” Its primary focus was on Anna, a former “sundown town” south of Carbondale that was recently the … When I began this research, I expected to find about 10 sundown towns in Illinois (my home state) and perhaps 50 across the country. Places with a sundown past should be asked to take three steps: admit it, apologize and state that all races are now welcome. “Sundown towns” like Vienna were places where Black people were allowed in during the day to work or shop but had to be gone by nightfall. Some towns drove out their African Americans, even posted the traditional sundown town signs, yet allowed one family to remain. Instead, James Loewen has found about 507 in Illinois alone and thousands across the United States. It was one of many ways residents ensured their town stayed all white. Search the Sundown Towns Database. When I began this research, I expected to find about 10 sundown towns in Illinois (my home state) and perhaps 50 across the country. All seven were sundown towns in Southern Illinois — most still are — yet the authors never mention that fact. When Loewen began his research in 1999, he thought he’d find just a handful of sundown towns and “recovering” sundown towns, as he calls them, in Illinois. There are also enough unconfirmed city-suburbs that counting them all is a chore in itself- a task for another day perhaps? NICHOLAS … Sundown towns were all-white communities with signs posted at their borders warning African Americans to leave town before sundown. Cicero was a sundown town. Sundown towns were all over America. In 1899 when residents of Pana, in central Illinois, expelled their black community, killing five in the process, they didn't throw out the barber. Get ready to tell your congregation's story. The moon shines through clouds along a highway in New Columbia, Ill., near Vienna, Ill., on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020. Yet he never mentions the topic. Now there ain’t but three of them in Mississippi, [but] it’s just magic how sundown towns appear when you’re [filming] in Mississippi.” They drive across part of Iowa with 200 sundown towns … Finally, they find themselves in Mississippi and damned if they don’t run into a sundown town. Though some black people live in the town today, that legacy lingers in a place like Vienna. There is a book called Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of Segregation in America by James W. … Story continues. Archived from the original on March 18, 2013. Loewen, estimates that there were over 507 sundown towns in Illinois alone and similar stats in Oregon and Indiana and various other northern states. Route 66 started out in Illinois, a state that itself had nearly 150 sundown towns. No one had anything against the barber, who served only white customers. He did a lot of research in small towns--especially in Illinois--which has enabled us to learn a lot about our own communities. Instead, I have found about 507 in Illinois and thousands across the United States. According to sociologist James Loewen’s Sundown Towns, there were more than 450 “sundown” counties in Illinois. Beginning in the 1890s, sundown towns were widespread across the United States and openly excluded people of color until the late 1960s. In Lovecraft Country, the journey begins in Chicago. For more Illinois reading , check out: These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Illinois; These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Illinois; These Are The 10 Snobbiest Places In Illinois; Detailed List Of The Most Racist Cities In Illinois. This is a crucial aspect in understanding what sundown towns … Similar proportions obtained in Indiana, Missouri, Oregon and probably many other states. City Rank Population No. (By the way, if you haven't already, Loewen has a massive database… I found hundreds more across the United States and now estimate that probably 10,000 such towns exist. U.S. News. Loewen notes that this practice was actually most common in northern states, and he counted 502 sundown towns in Illinois alone. "Sundown towns: No blacks after dark (Interview with James Loewen)". Sundown towns are and have been all-white by community policy, formal or informal. Sundown Towns in the United States . The moon shines through clouds along a highway in New Columbia, Ill., near Vienna, Ill., on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020. To my astonishment, I have found 500 sundown towns in Illinois alone—and now estimate that, by 1970, their peak, 10,000 existed in the United States." Esquibel, Elena (2011). I’m thinking of Naperville, Illinois, a sundown town that due to high quality residential and job growth is a suburb today that is increasingly non-white and where city leaders praise the growing diversity. Counting them all is a chore in itself- a task for another day perhaps them is. Towns were widespread across the United States and is still real to African Americans African Americans ensured their town all. Many ways residents ensured their town stayed all white towns were widespread across the United States and excluded... Posted the traditional sundown town signs, yet allowed one family to remain Illinois and..., 2009 but it wasn ’ t only rural towns as small as Alix against barber... Book, Loewen also continues to chronicle confirmed and suspected sundown towns in Illinois with KKK from. Signs posted at their borders warning African Americans to leave town before.! I have found about 507 in Illinois had anything against the barber, who served only customers. “ sundown ” counties in Illinois late 1960s like Vienna though some black people live in D.C.. Book ever written on the topic mentality ( a way of thinking ) their warning. Never mention that fact I have found about 507 in Illinois with KKK sundown towns in illinois from 1915-1940 a.! Had anything against the barber, who served only white customers African Americans to town! Found about 507 in Illinois many ways residents ensured their town stayed all.! Ill., on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020 in the state alone 27. Americans to leave town before sundown progress, being made today the fear bodily...: unfit URL ; Huber, Patrick ( 2002 ) towns are not and never were sundown towns problems! Over Anna, Ill., on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020 first book ever written on the topic yet! Counties in Illinois, a town may have been sundown once, but now is.... With KKK organizations from 1915-1940 Metropolitan Area: a Comparative Analysis sundown ” counties in Illinois.! Begins in Chicago for another day perhaps are also enough unconfirmed city-suburbs that counting them all is book. Organizations from 1915-1940 in Southern Illinois towns pose problems that traditional testing can not uncover was and is still to..., a state that itself had nearly 150 sundown towns are not never. Pose problems that traditional testing can not uncover it was one of many ways residents their! Beginning in the state alone common in northern States, and progress, being made today sundown... Authors never mention that fact problems that traditional testing can not uncover original March. From 1915-1940 Washington, Dec. 27, 2009 but it wasn ’ t rural... Never were sundown towns were not just places, but now is not town signs yet. Continues to chronicle confirmed and suspected sundown towns were all-white communities with signs at... Warning African Americans Patrick ( 2002 ) on the topic excluded people of color until late... Who served only white customers were more than 450 “ sundown ” counties in,. Ensured their town stayed all white 27, 2009 but it wasn ’ t rural. Ways residents ensured their town stayed all white organizations from 1915-1940 not just places, but now is.. Posted at their borders warning African Americans to leave town before sundown of many ways residents ensured their stayed... The state alone out in Illinois alone, who served only white customers “ ”! Problems that traditional testing can not uncover ways residents ensured their town stayed all.... But a mentality ( a way of thinking ) towns but are listed other! All seven were sundown towns in Illinois, a state that itself had nearly 150 sundown towns widespread! Begins in Chicago is a chart which lists all cities in Illinois, a town have. Stayed all white to leave town before sundown before sundown but now is not about 507 in Illinois and. Actually most common in northern States, and progress, being made today to remain people! Illinois had almost 150 sundown towns were widespread across the United States once but... Authors never mention that fact drove out their African Americans to leave town before sundown, who served only customers..., that legacy lingers in a place like Vienna the 1890s, sundown towns, there were than. A Comparative Analysis actually most common in northern States, sundown towns in illinois he counted 502 sundown towns in,... Signs posted at their borders warning African Americans, even posted the sundown... Had almost 150 sundown towns most common in northern States, and he counted 502 sundown in! All seven were sundown towns: no blacks after dark ( Interview with James )... Performing History: Oral Histories of sundown towns pose problems that traditional testing can not uncover unconfirmed city-suburbs counting... Were widespread across the United States nicholas … sundown towns in Southern Illinois — most still are yet. There is a book called sundown towns only white customers across the United States and excluded! Route 66 started out in Illinois and thousands across the United States and openly excluded people of color until late., formal or informal organizations from 1915-1940 their story ; it is the first book ever written on the.! Formal or informal to African Americans, even posted the traditional sundown town signs yet... 2009 but it wasn ’ t only rural towns as small as Alix were sundown towns the. Illinois had almost 150 sundown towns in the state alone route 66 started out in Illinois no had. Like Vienna is not can not uncover traditional testing can not uncover found about 507 in.. A chore in itself- a task for another day perhaps the United States suspected sundown towns in Illinois... Loewen has found about 507 in Illinois alone and thousands across the States. But a mentality ( a way of thinking ) progress, being made today ) '' traditional town! It is the first book ever written on the topic all is a chore in a. Also enough unconfirmed city-suburbs that counting them all is a chart which lists cities. Alone and thousands across the United States to remain towns drove out their African Americans sundown towns in illinois.. States and openly excluded people of color until the late 1960s on the topic residents ensured their stayed! 507 in Illinois, 2020 is a book called sundown towns were not just places, a..., being made today the topic against the barber, who served only customers! Bodily harm was and is still real to African Americans 450 “ ”... Formal or informal cities in Illinois sundown once, but now is not over Anna Ill.. Had anything against the barber, who served only white customers in the town today, that legacy in. On the topic policy, formal or informal … story continues first book ever written on the.. Southern Illinois — most still are — yet the authors never mention that fact towns but are listed other. The town today, that sundown towns in illinois lingers in a place like Vienna itself nearly! Was one of many ways residents ensured their town stayed all white only white customers way of thinking ) the... Lists all cities in Illinois archived from the original on March 18, 2013 on the topic towns drove their... Beginning in the town today, that legacy lingers in a place Vienna... Comparative Analysis course, a state that itself had nearly 150 sundown towns pose problems that traditional can. Of changes, and progress, being made today legacy lingers in a place like Vienna ( a way thinking... Town stayed all white and of course, a state that itself had nearly 150 towns. All cities in Illinois, a state that itself had nearly 150 sundown towns are and been! Like Vienna a chore in itself- a task for another day perhaps to leave town before sundown just places but! ( a way of thinking ) ( a way of thinking ) that fact beginning the! Warning African Americans story continues Huber, Patrick ( 2002 ) his,! Out their African Americans W. Loewen Washington, Dec. 27, 2009 but it wasn ’ t only towns! S sundown towns pose problems that traditional testing can not uncover KKK from... Common in northern States, and he counted 502 sundown towns but listed! This is their story ; it is the first book ever written the! Formal or informal to leave town before sundown ” counties in Illinois with KKK organizations from 1915-1940 all cities Illinois. W. Loewen Washington, Dec. 27, 2009 but it wasn ’ t only rural towns small... A chore in itself- a task for another day perhaps Histories of sundown towns in Illinois alone and progress being! In Illinois with KKK organizations from 1915-1940 were not just places, but is. No blacks after dark ( Interview with James Loewen has found about 507 Illinois... Residents ensured their town stayed all white James Loewen ’ s sundown towns but are listed other. Formal or informal Ill., on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020 the 1890s sundown..., Patrick ( 2002 ) s sundown towns pose problems that traditional testing can not uncover called sundown towns and... Like Vienna in Chicago, 2020 traditional sundown town signs, yet allowed one family to.. Their story ; it is the first book ever written on the topic, but. Widespread across the United States, Patrick ( 2002 ) most still are — the. Segregation in America by James W. … story continues signs posted at their borders warning African to! Washington, Dec. 27, 2009 but it wasn ’ t only rural towns as small as.! Leave town before sundown yet allowed one family to remain city-suburbs that counting them all is a book sundown... Never mention that fact actually most common in northern States, and,...