Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension Of American Racism

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The New Press, Dec 13, 2013 - History - 562 pages
2 Reviews
“Don’t let the sun go down on you in this town.” We equate these words with the Jim Crow South but, in a sweeping analysis of American residential patterns, award-winning and bestselling author James W. Loewen demonstrates that strict racial exclusion was the norm in American towns and villages from sea to shining sea for much of the twentieth century.

Weaving history, personal narrative, and hard-nosed analysis, Loewen shows that the sundown town was—and is—an American institution with a powerful and disturbing history of its own, told here for the first time. In Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, sundown towns were created in waves of violence in the early decades of the twentieth century, and then maintained well into the contemporary era.

Sundown Towns redraws the map of race relations, extending the lines of racial oppression through the backyard of millions of Americans—and lobbing an intellectual hand grenade into the debates over race and racism today.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Cheryl_in_CC_NV - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bezoar44 - LibraryThing

This book tells an appalling story: how, in towns and counties across America, blacks (and members of some other minorities) were forced to flee; and how many of communities have used intimidation or ... Read full review

Contents

Also by Jim Loewen
The Sociology of Sundown Towns
Enforcement
Incubator of Sundown
The Great Retreat
Creating AllBlack Towns Black Townships Alternatives tothe GreatRetreat The Great Retreat WasNoSolution Chapter 4 How Sundown Towns Were ...
Chapter 11 The Effectof Sundown TownsonWhites White Seems Right
White EthnicSolidarity Labor Strife Chapter 7 Catalysts andOrigin Myths
Exceptions to theSundown Rule
Sundown Towns Today
Integrated Neighborhoods and Towns
Appendix Methodological Notes
Sundown Suburbs
PORTFOLIO

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About the author (2013)

Social scientist and professor James Loewen is an outspoken critic of "feel-good" history. In his book "Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American Textbook Got Wrong" (1996) he debunks the myths and exposes the omissions he feels are taught in the nation's high schools. Disturbed by his college students' lack of knowledge of history and concerned about minority misconceptions, Loewen spent two years at the Smithsonian analyzing 12 leading history texts and 11 years writing this best-selling indictment of history teaching. Loewen believes that controversy has been removed from classrooms in favor of blind patriotism. "Any history book that celebrates, rather than examines, our heritage has the by-product, intended or not, of alienating all those in the 'out group', those who have not become affluent, and denies them a tool for understanding their own group's lack of success." Loewen's other books include ""Mississippi: Conflict and Change" (1974, rev. 1980), a revisionist history of the state written with a coalition of students and faculty at Tougaloo College, Mississippi; "Mississippi Chinese: Between Black and White" (1971), a study of this minority's role in society; "Social Science in the Courtroom" (1983), based on the author's experiences as an expert witness in civil rights cases and "The Truth About Columbus: A Subversively True Poster Book For A Dubiously Celebratory Occasion" (1992). In addition, the author is a frequent contributor to professional publications, sometimes under the pseudonym James Lyons. James W. Loewen was born February 6, 1942 in Decatur, Illinois and was educated at Carleton College (B.A., 1964) and Harvard University (M.A, 1967; Ph.D., 1968). He was a sociologist and teacher specializing in race relations at Tougaloo College, Mississippi from 1968 to 1974.