“[It looked] just like that,” he added. Another new box on the Sundown Towns page provides links to Maps of Probable Sundown Towns in Selected States. When I first went to Tougaloo College in 1968, I found that my students had low SAT scores - 240 to 580. There, children glided on bicycles from the levee road along the Ohio River, down through the intersection where the steel arches stood. I visited a grave in the Anna cemetery that belongs to the man deemed by a local newspaper in 1916 to be “the only colored man who has ever lived in this city” and I spent some time with one of the few black families (if not the only one) living in Anna today. “I don’t know you or your son personally,” one message read. He felt he and his brothers and sisters would thrive. But there are some black people here, and more, it seems, during the workday. Mississipp's Declaration says, "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery--the greatest material interest of the world." v. Turnipseed, et al., finally won in 1980. I’m just sorry we have to talk about that.” He added: “That is not the Anna I know.”. “And it was sitting right next to the population sign.” I’ve heard about some version of this sign from a few people in Anna, but I have yet to find physical proof of it — a document, a photo, anything. Some white parents, particularly upset about the post featuring Arieh, spoke to administrators about it, Smith said. “We recognize this is a problem and need to do something about it.”. When Loewen began his research in 1999, he thought he’d find just a handful of sundown towns and “recovering” sundown towns, as he calls them, in Illinois. Even today, southern Illinois has more in common culturally with Kentucky and Missouri than with its other neighbors; for years, Confederate battle flags were draped on a storefront on Anna’s Main Street without much objection. One woman who works in the area and who is black told me she hates it when she’s assigned a shift in the town. This link leads to several resources for teaching about Mississippi. She fills up her car’s gas tank before going to work so that she spends as little time in Anna as possible. That Abraham Lincoln was born in a cabin in Kentucky built 30 years after his death? They were formerly enslaved, having fled Tennessee as the Civil War ended, and eventually settled in Anna in 1867, according to Emily’s obituary in the Jonesboro Gazette. People around the area, not just in Anna, have called him derogatory names based on his race, he said. Because whether or not that sign really existed, it exists in the minds of many black southern Illinoisans who know what the name of the town stands for. That four different people in three different states "first" used anesthesia in an operation? The Texarkana Gazette is the premier source for local news and sports in Texarkana and the surrounding Arklatex areas. She prayed. There are some she’s decided not to have over: “I’m not that uppity friend that I’m too good for them now, but I’m not introducing them to my friends here. They were not to lash out or fight. James Taylor, a 61-year-old known as “Big T” in Cairo, where he lives, was shopping there on a Saturday afternoon when I met him. So I went in, too. They ask him what he’s doing out there; doesn’t he know Anna is a sundown town? About 10 workers fled to the woods. In this eye-opening and provocative series of lectures, renowned historian James W. Loewen, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me, unravels the fact from the fiction, the unvarnished truths from the convenient myths, and explains the reasons American history has so often been distorted.The Modern Scholar is a series of exciting and informative lectures recorded by some of today's most renowned university and college professors. At the time, he was dating a girl who was biracial. Smith thought hers was the only black family in Anna when she arrived, though she thinks a few more families have moved in since. “ANNA,” it reads. Although one of the young men told police they attacked the victim because he was black, the police did not charge the four men with a hate crime. Vietnam of course attacked Cambodia. Patrick Brumleve, who oversees the museum as the president of the Union County Historical and Genealogical Society, said Anna was named after Anna Davie, the wife of the man who founded the town in 1854. The Mississippi Chinese : Between Black and White. He didn’t like it when people assumed he was racist. The Kentucky Derby, held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, is an iconic American event, and brings in spectators from all over the world. We begin to get a handle on that question by noting that textbooks dominate history teaching more than any other field. The man was white. The sisters have a slew of similar stories. This story was co-published with The Atlantic. The mob pulled him up to hang him, but the rope broke, so they shot him repeatedly instead. I picked up the book in part because its author, James W. Loewen, a sociologist who taught at the University of Vermont and at Tougaloo College in Mississippi, is from Decatur, Illinois. In the years leading up to the Civil War, “family lines in the South still existed with these people of the new Midwest,” wrote the late Anna resident George E. Parks in 1983 in “History of Union County,” and some residents remained sympathetic to their southern home states. A Walmart and fast-food chains now cluster in Anna’s east end, near U.S. Highway 51. And so on. Today, Anna is one of the whitest municipalities in southern Illinois — according to the 2010 census, 95.7% of its citizens are white — and its black population hasn’t changed much since that modest uptick nearly 40 years ago, according to census data. Whilst we understand some property owners may prefer this information be kept confidential, we are licensed to display this information from various third parties. He now comes to town to go to Walmart and to get his car washed. The night after James was killed, a band of men from Anna headed for a nearby quarry, which employed a number of black men. “How fortunate we are to have so little of ‘darkest Africa’ among us,” the Gazette wrote in January 1903, adding that it would be “presumptuous to place the negro in the places where only white men should fill as long as this is a white man’s country.”. This is the kind of thing that makes her wish she had moved to Anna sooner. I first learned about Anna in a book called “Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism,” about the thousands of communities across the country that, for much of the 20th century, kept themselves white. In fact, many of Anna’s earliest residents were from Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. Click on the book image to visit the publisher page, where you can put in the code Tales and get a 40% discount. “And until people are willing to at least acknowledge that it’s there, there’s not going to be any change.”. Smith never thought she would live here. The term “sundown town” applies to places that, via policy, violence or both, barred black people from town after dark; as the book explains, the phrase is derived from “the signs that many of [these places] formerly sported at their corporate limits — signs that usually said ‘Nigger, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on You in __.’”. Sundown in Dubuque offer 21 runs, 2 terrain parks, 4 lifts, and 475 feet of vertical for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Soon I realized that Tougaloo students - black, poor, rural - had grown up as distant from the SAT makers - white, rich, suburban - as was possible within the United States. I can’t tell what color anybody is at night,” Hunter said. Still, Smith often thinks twice about simple decisions white people seldom give much thought to — for example, which black friends she can invite to town, because she’s not sure they’ll all be received well. I’d ask. Eugenics flourished, as did segregation and "sundown towns," where blacks were either officially or unofficially not allowed. Cairo’s population, roughly 2,500, is now about half of what it was in 1990, though people began leaving earlier. “Bae, drive fast and keep going,” she remembers him saying. ... "Kentucky never seceded. “What people need to do is to say: ‘Yes, this happened. It offers teachers specific ideas for how to get students excited about history, how to get them to DO history, and how to help them read critically. I met him while he was playing basketball with his young son in the park. Learn More... Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism(Gustavus Myers Human Rights Book Award, Selected by Booklist as a 2005 Editor's Choice Selection). But it hurt. On a visit to southern Illinois this spring, I went to the spot in Cairo where William James was lynched 110 years earlier. During Reconstruction, white plantation owners imported Chinese sharecroppers in the hope of replacing their black laborers. Smith still tears up thinking about it. “In my younger days … you weren’t allowed up here after dark, period,” Taylor said in the parking lot as he loaded grocery bags into his car. “Old heads ain’t died off yet,” he explained. The makers of Bunny Bread — “That’s what I said, Bunny Bread,” as an old jingle went — and Florsheim shoes both closed factories in the early 1990s. A new box is on the Sundown Towns page: "Recovering" Sundown Towns Hold BLM Rallies After George Floyd's Murder. In the family’s first few months in Anna, Atarah and Amiyah received some naive questions from their white classmates. Yet they sleep through the classes that present it. Korean troops committed more atrocities per capita than Americans, in Vietnam. But he said he gets asked every so often about A-N-N-A by outsiders like me. Matt Ruff's novel, Lovecraft Country, just debuted an HBO series. “That’s for ‘Ain’t No Niggers Allowed.’” He laughed, shook his head and took a sip of his beer. Eugenics flourished, as did segregation and "sundown towns," where blacks were either officially or unofficially not allowed. But what if the lessons we were taught in American History class were not true? Stories of intimidation and violence against black people — and against white people who tried to employ them — in Anna continued for decades after the war. Readers interested in history, whether liberal or conservative, professional or layperson, will find food for thought here. 1,539 Likes, 8 Comments - MIT Science (@mitscience) on Instagram: “A “sensational” map 🗺 of the brain 🧠 A team of researchers from Massachusetts Institute of…” Around 1980, Anna’s black population grew to about a few dozen residents. He kept his composure. by force, law, or custom. Then, in a moment that would lodge itself in regional memory, a 23-year-old white woman from Anna was found dead in November 1909 in an alley in Cairo. “So that always bothered me, that that was their perception.” Racism is not a problem in Anna, he said, at least no more than it is in the rest of the country. Why do people believe myths about the Confederacy? One boy, Amiyah told Smith, yelled to her, “Come on, blackie, and get in the photo.” Amiyah looked at him, turned around and walked away. Most Americans hold basic misconceptions about the Confederacy, the Civil War, and the acts of neo-Confederates afterward. A man two stools over from me struck up a conversation. “I worked nights for 13 years. Like what? Those two facts have underlain my intermittent work since 1970, mostly aimed at showing the bias in these tests and how they should not be used in college admissions. Design and production by Vignesh Ramachandran, Logan Jaffe, Jillian Kumagai and Agnes Chang. Smith, 38, moved to Anna in 2016 with her six children: Arieh, 19; Atarah, 18; Amiyah, 16; Arojae, 15; Asaiah, 12; and Aseana, 11. Texas Neighborhood Explorer The high school was good and it had a strong sports program. They led James to a pair of steel arches that spanned the intersection in the center of Cairo’s commercial district, which was crowded with thousands of onlookers, most of whom came as word spread about James’ arrest. A new box is on the Sundown Towns page: "Recovering" Sundown Towns Hold BLM Rallies After George Floyd's Murder. But the city is still commercially alive. To make learning more compelling, Loewen urges authors, publishers, and teachers to highlight the drama inherent in history by presenting students with different viewpoints and stressing that history is an ongoing process, not merely a collection of — often misleading — factoids. He warns that freed black men will take jobs away from white men. Textbooks exclude conflict or real suspense. That made her feel like her blackness was seen as a threat. Some held signs: “We ❤️ You, Arieh,” read one. Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism, The New York Times’ Race/Related newsletter. Smith told me her family feels pressure to always be on its best behavior. This error persists because most have never read the key documents about the Confederacy. Like many other small towns, Anna has lost industry. The New York Times relies on James W. Loewen for its 2018 Thanksgiving story. There was one exception: the Sales family. “I mean, that’s just how we were taught,” she said. She knows what A-N-N-A stands for, and she doesn’t want to take any chances. Coincidentally, her name was Anna — Anna Pelley. This story is not subject to our Creative Commons license. Correct(ed): A new series on how to teach history for K-12 teachers. We have now placed Twitpic in an archived state. Black people also work at Choate Developmental Center, a state mental health facility in Anna. Still, I’m not going to claim I know Anna’s full story — I’m an outsider. (Their niece, Nora, who lived in the same house, died about 30 years later.) Texas Neighborhood Explorer. Matt Ruff's novel, Lovecraft Country, just debuted an HBO series. Some sundown towns in the Midwest have begun to confront their legacies. Some towns are still all white on purpose. According to police reports, one of the suspects allegedly tried to sodomize the victim with either a tire iron or an ax handle. Songkran, informally called "the Thailand water festival," is an annual event marking the start of the traditional Thai new year. Songkran is the largest celebration in Thailand and is notorious as the wildest water fight in the world. Hartline grew up in Cobden, the town just north of Anna. Walker told me about a sign he said used to be posted near Anna’s city limits. From Maine to California, thousands of communities kept out African Americans (or sometimes Chinese Americans, Jewish Americans, etc.) Students are right: the books are boring. I told him I was a journalist from Chicago and asked him to tell me about this town. There are also uses of a derogatory racial term in documents and quotes cited in the story. In a way, though, it doesn’t matter. Today, Emily and John share a small tombstone in the Anna cemetery. Learn More... See the James W. Loewen entry on Wikipedia, Download a color or b&w photo of Dr. Loewen. The result is a range of top-notch destinations, from charming small towns and lakeside resorts to major cosmopolitan cities full of life. The whole world.”, Anna’s Walmart draws a more diverse crowd. She previously was an embedded mediamaker with The New York Times’ Race/Related newsletter in collaboration with the documentary showcase POV, in which she reported and produced an audience-driven project confronting the pervasiveness of racism through everyday objects. He disagreed. For the most part, this was overturned when a matter of laws barring black men from a town or even areas of a … I think I got onto the card because of my obvious similarity to Santa Claus. Each package includes 14 riveting lectures as well as a book-length course guide. The bridge is an icon in Cincinnati, a beautiful symbol of the city’s rich history and tradition. In 2018, Arieh won Illinois’ high school state wrestling championship for his weight class. Sonny Perdue's 2008 "Confederate History Month Proclamation," shows a new twist. “2018 IHSA 1A 152 LB WRESTLING CHAMPION.”. “For the small, independent towns all around the state that are still all white or almost all white, it’s like the civil rights movement never happened,” he told me. “For whatever reason it’s just one of those towns, I guess,” his co-worker added. Last Monday on MLK Day, there was a virtual ribbon-cutting that originated in Nashville. Ralph Smith, 30, has been employed there for two years. He said he hadn’t witnessed that kind of public racism in Anna before. “State Champ #1,” read another. … Seeing this honestly gives me hope that people can and do change.”. Send ideas for Jim Loewen's books-in-progress, Play a trivia game about the Nadir of Race Relations, Loewen Keynotes National Association for Interpretation. Cairo has long been emblematic of a future that Anna fears: the decline of a once-thriving town. But these incidents happened. Michael Hunter leaned forward in his camouflage-printed office chair. Read the introduction to the series here. She described what she saw and he knew she was in Anna. Later documents show how neo-Confederates lied about all this in the twentieth century. When I called James Taylor, the man I had met at the Anna Walmart months before, he told me there was someone in Cairo I should meet. Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong. John Sales was in his mid 90s when he died in August 1916. That meant a lot to her. Further research showed me that SAT (and ACT) scores correlate very poorly with the outcome they are intended to predict: first-year college grades. (Whitney Curtis, special to ProPublica Illinois), (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library via The Library of Congress), Anna is a city of a little more than 4,000 people, (Source: Mapbox. 16 short essays covering topics from teaching slavery to Thanksgiving. Taylor said he’s noticed more black people in Anna in the past 10 years — “I take my hat off to that” — but, he said, changing Anna’s reputation is going to take a while. “So that doesn’t allow us to be exposed to different people or different ethnicities.” Given this, he’s not sure he’ll stay in Anna after college. “You’ve come to the wrong town,” one of them said. My book Sundown Towns prompted the show. (Some still do.) He complains that black soldiers are treated better than white soldiers. “They don’t want to come here,” Gavin added. About 100 steps away is the grave of Anna Pelley, marked by a sculpture of a woman on her knees, crying, with the inscription: “A life sacrificed but remembered by friends.”. Loewen said sundown towns sprang up all around the country from 1890 to 1940, a period he calls the “nadir” of race relations in America. How do you dance like that? When he returned home and resumed his role as editor, he wrote that he and the other officers were “perfectly satisfied of the fact that fighting to free the nigger is no wise [or] desirable task.”. Simply input an address or mark a spot on a state map and you'll have your results within 3-seconds!. Instead, he found hundreds, from neighborhoods on Chicago’s North Shore to suburbs in the center of the state to small towns in southern Illinois, such as Anna. Some residents of Anna describe their town as safe, family-centric and quaint, and contrast these features with the “problems” they perceive in bigger, less-white neighbors such as Carbondale, a city about 20 miles north of Anna that is home to Southern Illinois University, and Cairo, about 35 miles south of Anna, located at the state’s southernmost tip. She told her husband that Anna was the place they needed to be. Later that night, I realized what shook me most about our conversation: He didn’t pause before he said what he said. Historian Lawrence Goodwyn called Mississippi: Conflict and Change "the best history of an American state I have ever seen." American Sociological Association gives Cox/Johnson/Frazier Award to Loewen. I talked with public officials, historians and longtime residents. Some people still do. He added, “It was just a racist town.”. “It said, No Niggers Allowed,” Walker remembered. First-year students at Tougaloo College taught me that they had absorbed a white supremacist false narrative of their past, even in all-Black high schools. Now as an Audio Book! These stories have the power to spellbind audiences, even audiences of difficult seventh graders. “HOME OF ARIEH HART,” it reads. Entire sundown counties and sundown suburbs were also created by the same process. Yet my best students were equal to my best students at Harvard, where I had just taught. American history is full of fantastic and important stories. Credit: Vignesh Ramachandran/ProPublica Illinois), (Source: Mapbox. It also helps teachers tackle difficult but important topics like the American Indian experience, slavery, and race relations. “I think it needs more flavor around here for sure, but everything needs to be more mixed,” he said. Independent businesses run up and down Main Street. “And that’s make a better situation for your kids.”. This trip has so many incredible sights, it would be best to give yourself as much time as possible to take it all in. Here is a story in the River Cities Reader about an appearance by Jim Loewen in Moline/Davenport/Bettendorf/Rock Island/East Moline, the five "Quad Cities," a couple of years ago. Viewed in this way, the lies and omissions across the American countryside suggest times and ways that the United States went astray as a nation. The Validity of "Standardized" Testing in Education and Employment. Contact Logan by email and on Twitter. When Easter Smith opened the door, her house smelled like dinner. He didn’t go with her. In March 2015, the City Council of Goshen, Indiana, voted 6-0 to pass “A Resolution Acknowledging the Racially Exclusionary Past of Goshen, Indiana, as a ‘Sundown Town.’” In late 2016, the mayor of La Crosse, Wisconsin, formally apologized for the city’s history of racial exclusion and signed a proclamation to work toward racial equality. Another new box on the Sundown Towns page provides links to Maps of Probable Sundown Towns in Selected States. Nevertheless, three years after Smith moved to Anna, her family still has to deal with racist comments. For example, two-thirds of Americans--including most history teachers--think the Confederate States seceded for "states' rights." A lesser known phenomenon of the Jim Crow Era is the Sundown Town. 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