4 Replies Latest reply on Jun 22, 2017 5:16 PM by hicksdiscovery

    "Sundown Towns" Cullman and Marshall Counties?


      I am looking for photographic and/or written evidence of road signs posted to deter African Americans from entering or remaining in Cullman and/or Marshall counties Alabama 1900-1990.

        • Re: "Sundown Towns" Cullman and Marshall Counties?
          Michael Chornesky Adventurer

          Ms. Hicks,


          References to the existence of sundown towns will likely be difficult to tease out of NARA records (a cursory catalog search turned up no instances of the phrase) since it was mostly a trend enforced locally by counties, municipalities, and states (to a lesser extent).  However, there is a public historian who has undertaken extensive research and published on the national phenomenon of sundown towns, even going so far as to meticulously document evidence of their existence digitally.  The book is Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism by James Loewen.  I don't recall specific incidences he cites in these two specific locales, but his website contains extensive evidence of the research done by him and his research assistants on the subject.  It contains a map to search on whether any locale in the United States contained sundown towns and any documentation uncovered to that extent. His website is probably a good place to start.


          A brief web search also turned up this article from the Tuscaloosa News on the subject which may produce additional search avenues for you to pursue.


          Best of luck on your search and thank you for your question to History Hub!

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          • Re: "Sundown Towns" Cullman and Marshall Counties?

            This is a valuable research tool for the subject matter.


            "From the Introduction to the 1949 edition: With the introduction of this travel guide in 1936, it has been our idea to give the Negro traveler information that will keep him from running into difficulties, embarrassments and to make his trips more enjoyable.The Jewish press has long published information about places that are restricted and there are numerous publications that give the gentile whites all kinds of information. But during these long years of discrimination, before 1936 other guides have been published for the Negro, some are still published, but the majority have gone out of business for various reasons. "

            The Green Book - NYPL Digital Collections

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