In this video Tariq Nasheed discusses the ignored pieces of the George Zimmerman Case.
For decades after the 14th Amendment was ratified, and continuing well into the 20th century, America’s blacks suffered insidious discrimination that came in many forms. One of the most humiliating was “Sundown Towns” part of what was called our “hidden history.” Sundown towns were those communities that systematically excluded blacks from those communities after dark. There is still some evidence them. James Loewen, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Vermont has researched the issue extensively, and is the author of Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism, the first book ever written on the subject.
James Loewen: "I thought I would discover maybe ten of these in Illinois and maybe ten across the country. And, to my complete astonishment I am now at a count of 501 in Illinois alone. Which is 70 percent of all the incorporated municipalities within the state and I think there‘s a similar percentage in Missouri except for the southern part which is actually along the Missouri River. These sundown towns are not common in the South, and the southern part of Missouri along the Missouri River is like the South in that regard. 548."
In addition to the expulsion of African Americans from some small towns, Chinese Americans and other minorities were also driven out of some of the towns where they lived. One example according to Loewen is that in 1870, Chinese made up one-third of the population of Idaho. Following a wave of violence and an 1886 anti-Chinese convention in Boise, almost none remained by 1910. The town of Gardnerville, Nevada, is said to have blown a whistle at 6 p.m. daily alerting Native Americans to leave by sundown. In addition, Jews were excluded from living in some sundown towns, such as Darien, Connecticut.
In some cases, signs were placed at the town's borders with statements similar to the one posted in Hawthorne, California, which read "Nigger, Don't Let The Sun Set On YOU In Hawthorne" in the 1930s.
In some cases, the exclusion was official town policy or through restrictive covenants agreed to by the real estate agents of the community. In others, the policy was enforced through intimidation. This intimidation could occur in a number of ways, including harassment by law enforcement officers.
Though no one knows the number of sundown towns there were in the United States, the largest attempt made to determine how common they were estimated that there were several thousand throughout the nation. The highest proportion of confirmed sundown towns were in the state of Illinois, but that may not be truly representative of their distribution, as sundown towns are difficult to accurately determine given the reluctance for the towns themselves to have, or to reveal, official documents stating their status as sundown towns.
Since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and especially since the Civil Rights Act of 1968 prohibited racial discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing, the number of sundown towns has decreased. However, as sociologist James W. Loewen writes in his book on the subject, it is impossible to precisely count the number of sundown towns at any given time, because most towns have not kept records of the ordinances or signs that marked the town's sundown status. His book, Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism, notes that hundreds of cities across America have been sundown towns at some point in their history.