The Dark History of The United States: Sundown Towns 

The Dark History of The United States: Sundown Towns 

When you read a sign like this, it’s crazy to think that something like this actually existed. Given the dark history of the US, it’s definitely not unfathomable, just disappointing. Many towns across the United States made laws to make sure that Black people could not have the freedom to be in White-only areas. For example, in 1844 Oregon banned African-Americans from that territory. Those who did not abide could receive lashings under the law “Peter Burnett Lash Law”, though no one ever received lashings; the punishment was later changed to forced labor. Sundown towns were not exclusively against Black people, but to anyone who was not white. Those who were caught in sundown towns would face harassment, threats, and violence that included lynching. After the Civil Rights Movement and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which prohibited racial discrimination in the sale, rental, and financial help for housing, sundown towns drastically decreased.


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