I feel ashamed to admit having grown up in the United States, garnered high school, undergrad, and graduate degrees, including a minor in history, and still didn’t know about Sundown Towns. Let me correct that, I didn’t know how prevalent they were/are. Born and raised in Central Indiana, I knew certain communities were adverse towards minorities,particularly black Americans. But, I had no idea how many communities across the country were outright hateful towards them and did nearly anything they could, both legal and illegal, to prevent them from residing within their limits after dark.
Perhaps I should not be so hard on myself, though. As James. W. Loewen, the author of Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism so aptly stated in 2005;
“The absence of prior work on sundown towns is troubling. Omitted events usually signify hidden fault lines in our culture. If a given community has not admitted on its landscape to have been a sundown town in the past, that may be partly because it has not yet developed good race relations in the present. It follows that America may not have admitted to having sundown towns in its history books because it has not yet developed good race relations as a society.” (emphasis added)