Make Sundown Towns Mandatory in History Curriculum in Ohio

Make Sundown Towns Mandatory in History Curriculum in Ohio

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Blaine Crockett started this petition to Governor Mike DeWine and

Sundown towns are examples of modern day segregation. Though sundown towns aren’t by law segregated, minorities are warned not to attempt to move into them due to the fact that they’re mostly occupied by racists who will stop at nothing to drive them out of their town. 

We need to educate students about this issue. 

Though many articles on sundown towns tend to refer to them in the past, they are still a very prominent issue in today’s society. A sundown towns (also known as grey towns, sunset towns) are all-white municipalities or neighborhoods that practice a form of racial segregation to all non-whites by either discriminatory laws, intimidation, and/or violence. Sundown towns have been known to have signs that contain graphic messages such as, “N*gger, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on You In ____”. To further understand how so many towns and neighborhoods are getting away with this, you have to have an understanding in the difference between de facto and de jure segregation.

De jure segregation is the blatant and legalized segregation of Blacks and Whites. This first began during the Jim Crow era, which lasted from the 1880s to 1964. De jure segregation was meant to separate Blacks and Whites to “minimize violence” though I think we all know what the true motive behind it was. Jim Crow laws were heavy on perpetuating the belief of “White superiority” and “Black inferiority”. Though Jim Crow laws are no longer existing today, we still see examples of them in sundown towns that practice de facto segregation. 

De facto segregation is the direct result of de jure segregation due to the fact that the government could get rid of the laws that segregated Blacks and Whites, but couldn’t change the way people thought. This is where the main difference between de jure and de facto comes into play. De jure segregation was by law where de facto was by personal choice. Many White citizens during this time moved to the suburbs to avoid the possibility of having Blacks in their Neighborhoods.  

De facto segregation heavily impacts the world we live in today. We see class separation that is majorly affecting black youth and neighborhoods. Many neighborhoods that are predominantly black suffer from the lack of proper funding and being neglected. De facto segregation allows the spread of bigotry and racism to happen more easily. Most students don’t know about this due to the fact that schools barely teach about Black History. This information needs to be implemented into the school systems. More people need to be properly educated on this so they can stay safe and hopefully one day put an end to sundown towns. 

You can make a difference today by reaching out to the people in charge of the Ohio School Board about this issue. 

President of the Ohio School Board Laura Kohler Laura.Kohler@education.ohio.gov 

Vice President of Ohio School Board Charlotte McGuire 

Charlotte.McGuire@education.ohio.gov

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