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Ohio Sundown Towns

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I was reading about the Mitch Daniels scandal, and was directed to this article by James Loewen, who (and this was confirmed by a colleague) was disinvited from three speaking engagements organized by the Indiana Civil Rights Commission in 2007 for the article below. In it, he argues that the Honda selected Greensburg, Indiana for a large, publicly subsidized auto plant in part because of it's infinitesimal Black population, and then redlined its "hiring zone" to exclude 'urban' Indianapolis and Cincinnati. Honda paid a modest fine for doing the same in Ohio.

 

On Honda's "All American" Sundown Town: http://hnn.us/articles/27821.html

 

Two more of interest:

Loewen on Daniels in 2013: http://hnn.us/jim_loewen/articles/150218.html

Ohio's Possible Sundown Towns: http://sundown.afro.illinois.edu/sundowntownsshow.php?state=OH

 

Clarification on the Ohio list (and all other states, found here: http://sundown.afro.illinois.edu/content.php?file=sundowntowns-whitemap.html) not all towns listed are "sundown" towns, but were initially generated because of their very small Black populations, historical experiences, or information submitted by readers. It's not a complete or comprehensive list.

 

Since you are all frequent travelers in Ohio, I wondered:

 

Are there places you avoid because of your race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation?

 

Are there places you've been told to avoid?

 

I'm also curious about White folks - what messages do you get about where it's 'safe' for a White person to go, and who taught you this?

 

I do a similar exercise with my undergraduate classes each term, and the results are...predictable.

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My experiences with this have been, as you say, predictable.  Interesting issue though.  I wondered what this guy had said to get Daniels so pissed off.

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^I don't know how he is coming up with that list.  Warrensville Hts and Euclid are on it.

 

There are quite a few neighborhoods in the Cleveland Metro I wouldn't want to walk down the street as a white guy...... come to think about it, I wouldn't want to walk around those neighborhoods as a black guy either.  Specifically, pretty much anything north of Euclid Ave in East Cleveland and the areas around any of the public housing projects in Cleveland proper.

 

Little Italy was essentially off-limits for blacks for quite some time.  That has changed, but I still have friends who refuse to go there.  Bratenahl used to be a place that blacks had concerns of being profiled by the police.

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I have to wonder about the veracity of some of his claims. I'm not saying sundown towns don't exist, but he's got to put some data behind his accusations. For instance, he lists Chagrin Falls as a 'probable' sundown town, but for all his criteria lists 'don't know'. I mean, there's not a lot of black folk living there, to be sure, but are they excluded? I have no idea. Apparently, neither does he.

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Well, as a native of Appalachian Ohio, I can see how (at least back in the day) pretty much all of those towns would be places you wouldn't want to be as a minority.

 

Since moving to Cincy, the only town I really heard about was Norwood--again, back in the day. 

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^I don't know how he is coming up with that list.  Warrensville Hts and Euclid are on it.

 

There are quite a few neighborhoods in the Cleveland Metro I wouldn't want to walk down the street as a white guy...... come to think about it, I wouldn't want to walk around those neighborhoods as a black guy either.  Specifically, pretty much anything north of Euclid Ave in East Cleveland and the areas around any of the public housing projects in Cleveland proper.

 

Little Italy was essentially off-limits for blacks for quite some time.  That has changed, but I still have friends who refuse to go there.  Bratenahl used to be a place that blacks had concerns of being profiled by the police.

As a man of color, I do not understand how a white man could ever make a statement like this?  The reason I say that you're not of color nor have you hade to live as a person of color in our world.  We as people of color live in a white world.  You probably don't understand that, just as I don't understand what you wrote.

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I was reading about the Mitch Daniels scandal, and was directed to this article by James Loewen, who (and this was confirmed by a colleague) was disinvited from three speaking engagements organized by the Indiana Civil Rights Commission in 2007 for the article below. In it, he argues that the Honda selected Greensburg, Indiana for a large, publicly subsidized auto plant in part because of it's infinitesimal Black population, and then redlined its "hiring zone" to exclude 'urban' Indianapolis and Cincinnati. Honda paid a modest fine for doing the same in Ohio.

 

On Honda's "All American" Sundown Town: http://hnn.us/articles/27821.html

 

Two more of interest:

Loewen on Daniels in 2013: http://hnn.us/jim_loewen/articles/150218.html

Ohio's Possible Sundown Towns: http://sundown.afro.illinois.edu/sundowntownsshow.php?state=OH

 

Since you are all frequent travelers in Ohio, I wondered:

 

Are there places you avoid because of your race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation?

 

Are there places you've been told to avoid?

 

I'm also curious about White folks - what messages do you get about where it's 'safe' for a White person to go, and who taught you this?

 

I do a similar exercise with my undergraduate classes each term, and the results are...predictable.

As with the others mentioned, why are University Hts, and Lynhurst on the list?  :wtf:

 

There are plenty of places I wouldn't go.  Although I believe Cleveland's Little Italy has changed, I won't drive thru.  I have no desire to go to Westlake, Strongsville, N. Royalton or tract loving psuedo nouveau rich area.  At the same time, I wouldn't go to the (subjective) hood, Slavic Village, or the Lower Clark Fulton area and I speak Spanish.

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So there is no data to back this up other than a racial makeup that, while probable that the data for that is accurate (from the 2010 census), is not a deciding factor on what determines a "sundown" town.

 

Excluding that, then it would be comments like this (under West Portsmouth):

 

"A 1993 graduate of nearby Wheelersburg, OH high school emailed us: "My wife tells me there are now a black student or two at West Portsmouth high school, which is HIGHLY unusual for this area! Yes racism is alive and well here in what we call the "Twilight zone" Portsmouth Ohio/Scioto county."

 

What data went into making this list? Who knows.

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^I don't know how he is coming up with that list.  Warrensville Hts and Euclid are on it.

 

There are quite a few neighborhoods in the Cleveland Metro I wouldn't want to walk down the street as a white guy...... come to think about it, I wouldn't want to walk around those neighborhoods as a black guy either.  Specifically, pretty much anything north of Euclid Ave in East Cleveland and the areas around any of the public housing projects in Cleveland proper.

 

Little Italy was essentially off-limits for blacks for quite some time.  That has changed, but I still have friends who refuse to go there.  Bratenahl used to be a place that blacks had concerns of being profiled by the police.

As a man of color, I do not understand how a white man could ever make a statement like this?  The reason I say that you're not of color nor have you hade to live as a person of color in our world.  We as people of color live in a white world.  You probably don't understand that, just as I don't understand what you wrote.

 

You're taking that tone with the wrong "white man", cupcake.  I know more than a bit about living as a minority.  If you think Garden Valley is a fine place to take a walk, more power to you.  I was simply pointing out that my unwillingness to walk around those neighborhoods (in response to the OP's question) has less to do with my skin color and more to do with the fact that they just aren't safe..... for anyone, any race (especially non-residents).

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^I don't know how he is coming up with that list.  Warrensville Hts and Euclid are on it.

 

There are quite a few neighborhoods in the Cleveland Metro I wouldn't want to walk down the street as a white guy...... come to think about it, I wouldn't want to walk around those neighborhoods as a black guy either.  Specifically, pretty much anything north of Euclid Ave in East Cleveland and the areas around any of the public housing projects in Cleveland proper.

 

Little Italy was essentially off-limits for blacks for quite some time.  That has changed, but I still have friends who refuse to go there.  Bratenahl used to be a place that blacks had concerns of being profiled by the police.

As a man of color, I do not understand how a white man could ever make a statement like this?  The reason I say that you're not of color nor have you hade to live as a person of color in our world.  We as people of color live in a white world.  You probably don't understand that, just as I don't understand what you wrote.

 

You're taking that tone with the wrong "white man", cupcake.  I know more than a bit about living as a minority.  If you think Garden Valley is a fine place to take a walk, more power to you.  I was simply pointing out that my unwillingness to walk around those neighborhoods (in response to the OP's question) has less to do with my skin color and more to do with the fact that they just aren't safe..... for anyone, any race (especially non-residents).

 

Pumpkin, I honestly do not understand. I dont think you're racist by any means.  I honestly do not understand the way you wrote it.

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^I don't know how he is coming up with that list.  Warrensville Hts and Euclid are on it.

 

There are quite a few neighborhoods in the Cleveland Metro I wouldn't want to walk down the street as a white guy...... come to think about it, I wouldn't want to walk around those neighborhoods as a black guy either.  Specifically, pretty much anything north of Euclid Ave in East Cleveland and the areas around any of the public housing projects in Cleveland proper.

 

Little Italy was essentially off-limits for blacks for quite some time.  That has changed, but I still have friends who refuse to go there.  Bratenahl used to be a place that blacks had concerns of being profiled by the police.

As a man of color, I do not understand how a white man could ever make a statement like this?  The reason I say that you're not of color nor have you hade to live as a person of color in our world.  We as people of color live in a white world.  You probably don't understand that, just as I don't understand what you wrote.

 

You're taking that tone with the wrong "white man", cupcake.  I know more than a bit about living as a minority.  If you think Garden Valley is a fine place to take a walk, more power to you.  I was simply pointing out that my unwillingness to walk around those neighborhoods (in response to the OP's question) has less to do with my skin color and more to do with the fact that they just aren't safe..... for anyone, any race (especially non-residents).

 

Pumpkin, I honestly do not understand. I dont think you're racist by any means.  I honestly do not understand the way you wrote it.

 

The OP asked if there was "places you avoid because of your race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation."  I listed a few neighborhoods and then.... after thinking about it..... realized I probably wouldn't want to go in those neighborhoods regardless of what race I was.  So, I suppose, my answer SHOULD have been that I can't think of any neighborhoods I wouldn't want to go in simply due to my race because I would avoid those areas regardless of my race

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Perhaps, at one time, South Lebanon? 

 

 

Are there places you avoid because of your race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation?

 

I was tuning in that signal when I first moved here.  For me, as a place to live, East Dayton and parts of Springfield.  Passing through?, ok. To live there, out-of-the-closet?, No way. I'd feel safer as a gay person in certain black parts of Dayton than i would in East Dayton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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During the late 90s, our VP of manufacturing got a ticket (later dismissed) for driving two blocks with a flat tire to change it at a well lighted gas station near CCC Metro.  He's a couple shades darker than Obama.

 

Much depends on demeanor for pretty much everyone.  Little Italy is safe if you're black and look/act professional or even average.  Look and act "ghetto-stereotypical" (and never mind the Italian kids doing so), and it is not.

 

Ironically, as a white person in the deeper parts of the ghetto, you are safer if they think you are there to buy drugs.  A lot of the black on black killings associated with the drug trade have been because someone preyed on the wrong guy's customers.  It's still not safe....for anyone.

 

There's certainly areas where minorities will be looked at suspiciously, but they are safe.

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Areas where racial profiling and de facto segregation is in full force in the Cincinnati area: Lebanon, Trenton, Green Township, Glendale

 

Around Columbus: Pickerington, Canal Winchester, Worthington

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Maybe I take more risks with my personal safety due to general obliviousness to danger than I should, or maybe Akron simply doesn't have neighborhoods that compare with the scarier parts of Cleveland, but I have never really felt at risk walking, biking, or driving anywhere in Akron that I've actually been (including the areas south of Delia both north of VOB and further southwest along East Ave. and Manchester, as well as south of the freeway between Brown and Main.

 

I fear for unattended property in these neighborhoods, which would cause me to want to live elsewhere.  And I think the crime statistics do back that up ... thefts from empty homes and vehicles are considerably more common in those areas than any direct violent crimes against people.  And it's true I've never been walking or biking in those neighborhoods after sundown, but that's largely because my bike is missing its front reflector and I don't live anywhere near walking distance to there.  I've driven through them on my way home from late-night board gaming sessions and haven't felt particularly threatened, though I understand that the feel of a neighborhood can be very different walking through it than driving through it.

 

P.S. Pickerington?  Seriously?  Pickerington Central High School (the original HS) is 23% black, above the state average of 16%.  Even the newer, farther-out Pickerington North HS is 15% black, right about at the state average (which is rare, because most schools are either well above or well below).  That doesn't scream "de facto segregation."

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Growing up in Columbus and my father and his side of the family from Cincy, we traveled up and down 71 a lot. And I can remember my dad and my grandparents always telling me to stay away from Lebanon. I really don't know the whole story but my grandparents were harrassed by some locals a long time ago and it happened again when my father was in his 30s. So whenever I go down to Cincy, I would always never get off on those exits out of fear.

Then one of my clients from Grove City passed away and guess where the funeral was.......South Lebanon. I was so nervous and I almost didn't attend the funeral because of that 'fear'. But another (black) co worker and I went down and I was pretty surprised, everybody was super friendly (we got a lot of stares) but almost everybody greeted us with real smiles and we didn't have any issues. Although there still may be racists people in Lebanon, there are racists people everywhere and the situations that happened in the past need not dictate how I approach situations today. Sorry for writing a book lol

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Thanks everyone for your comments so far. The little I know about the site:

 

1. Not all towns listed are sundown towns, and not all sundown towns are on the list. I think an original list was generated based on black populations - those towns with few or no black residents were considered to be "probable" sundown towns, and then users sent in comments or other suggestions.

 

2. There are other towns on the list that are specifically NOT sundown towns, some of them with asterisks.

 

3. Read about Reynoldsburg if you haven't already. Jesus.

 

4. As for the original comment about Mitch Daniels, Loewen wrote an article in 2006 claiming that a sundown town in Indiana, Greensburg, was essentially being rewarded with a huge new Honda plant because it had no black residents, which apparently is something that Honda looks for. THis is the article Loewen claims got him disinvited by The Indiana Civil Rights Commission. I have newfound intensive dislike of that company now. Was/is Marysville an unfriendly place for Blacks?

 

I really appreciate the stories, especially those like yubh8tin's about what his parents told him about where not to go.

 

When I ask this question in my undergraduate classes, the white men usually don't have as clear answers as the White women, whose parents apparently tell them to stay away from any city over 200,000 people, but specifically: All of downtown Toledo, East Cleveland, Dayton, Over the Rhine. You know, the chocolate cities. For the few Black students, the responses range from "south of Wal-Mart" (any rural area) to "the West side of this town" (away from campus). I have almost no Latino/Hispanic/Mexican students, so that's a whole 'nuther problem.

 

That's always an eye-opening conversation for most of my rural White students.

 

As for sexual orientation, I've found that as long as I'm 'covering' that I feel OK just about anywhere. But there's almost no place in Ohio where I would hold my partner's hand in public (maybe the Short North, or during a pride event).

 

In our purple college town, we get yelled at from big, micro-penis masking TRUCKS (usually, "Fag" but also "Chink") about once a month when we are walking together, so, that makes us hate living here sometimes.

 

However, I have not (yet) been physically assaulted in Ohio, and ironically, the place where I was subject to the worst gay-bashing I've yet experinced was on the streetcar up Market in San Francisco heading toward the Castro. So, nowhere is really immune.

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big, micro-penis masking TRUCKS

 

As the resident right winger, I should probably point out that saying this about pickup trucks or sports cars is pretty much the flip side of the intentionally offensive stereotypes heading in the opposite direction....

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big, micro-penis masking TRUCKS

 

As the resident right winger, I should probably point out that saying this about pickup trucks or sports cars is pretty much the flip side of the intentionally offensive stereotypes heading in the opposite direction....

 

I meant specifically those boosted-up trucks with the sound-amplifying non-muffler that I perceive as nothing more than attention-seeking, to which I attribute a need to compensate for something. Perhaps it's small-mindedness. There was nothing political implied or stated, so I don't really understand your complaint.

 

When those are the modes of transport from which those epithets and threats to my family's safety almost always come, I will stand by my 'offensive stereotypes', thank you very much. It's how I compensate for feeling endangered, ridiculed, and frightened in my own town.

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Growing up in Columbus and my father and his side of the family from Cincy, we traveled up and down 71 a lot. And I can remember my dad and my grandparents always telling me to stay away from Lebanon. I really don't know the whole story but my grandparents were harrassed by some locals a long time ago and it happened again when my father was in his 30s. So whenever I go down to Cincy, I would always never get off on those exits out of fear.

Then one of my clients from Grove City passed away and guess where the funeral was.......South Lebanon. I was so nervous and I almost didn't attend the funeral because of that 'fear'. But another (black) co worker and I went down and I was pretty surprised, everybody was super friendly (we got a lot of stares) but almost everybody greeted us with real smiles and we didn't have any issues. Although there still may be racists people in Lebanon, there are racists people everywhere and the situations that happened in the past need not dictate how I approach situations today. Sorry for writing a book lol

 

Not at all - I'm glad to know this. Thank you!

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Perhaps, at one time, South Lebanon? 

 

 

Are there places you avoid because of your race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation?

 

I was tuning in that signal when I first moved here.  For me, as a place to live, East Dayton and parts of Springfield.  Passing through?, ok. To live there, out-of-the-closet?, No way. I'd feel safer as a gay person in certain black parts of Dayton than i would in East Dayton.

 

The couple of times when I was job hunting that I expressed interest in a neighborhood that looked to me to be majority black, I was steered away by real estate agents. "Well, that's not a great neighborhood" or "You probably wouldn't feel safe there." Hah. It's not that I don't like White middle-class neighborhoods (I live in one now), I just find them incredibly boring. No one's outside unless they're mowing the grass.

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Maybe I take more risks with my personal safety due to general obliviousness to danger than I should, or maybe Akron simply doesn't have neighborhoods that compare with the scarier parts of Cleveland, but I have never really felt at risk walking, biking, or driving anywhere in Akron that I've actually been (including the areas south of Delia both north of VOB and further southwest along East Ave. and Manchester, as well as south of the freeway between Brown and Main.

 

 

P.S. Pickerington?  Seriously?  Pickerington Central High School (the original HS) is 23% black, above the state average of 16%.  Even the newer, farther-out Pickerington North HS is 15% black, right about at the state average (which is rare, because most schools are either well above or well below).  That doesn't scream "de facto segregation."

 

23% black at a high school doesn't suggest that black people in Pickerington have very much power in Pickerington, Ohio.  That is not an impressive statistic.  The police are known to target black drivers and the city of Pickerington does not have a good reputation within the black community of Columbus because according to many of them, they don't feel wanted in that community.

 

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Areas where racial profiling and de facto segregation is in full force in the Cincinnati area: Lebanon, Trenton, Green Township, Glendale

 

 

I understand the first 3, but I'm not sure I agree with you about Glendale.  I've never heard of any sort of racial trouble in Glendale, and it's in the very diverse Princeton school district.  It's also surrounded by communities that have substantial black populations (Forest Park, Springdale, Woodlawn, Lincoln Hts).  It's old money, so it wouldn't surprise me if it was a bit stuffy and conservative, but I would think it would be better than say, Indian Hill.  I also get the impression that much of Northern Kentucky is seen as a no-go for black people, outside of a few urban areas in Covington and Newport.

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23% black at a high school doesn't suggest that black people in Pickerington have very much power in Pickerington, Ohio.  That is not an impressive statistic.  The police are known to target black drivers and the city of Pickerington does not have a good reputation within the black community of Columbus because according to many of them, they don't feel wanted in that community.

 

What you originally said was:

 

Areas where racial profiling and de facto segregation is in full force in the Cincinnati area: Lebanon, Trenton, Green Township, Glendale

 

Around Columbus: Pickerington, Canal Winchester, Worthington

 

A city with that large a black population calls into serious question your definition of "de facto segregation in full force."  At the very least, this is a long way from the Greensburg, Indiana situation (whether you see any kind of dark motive in Honda's decision or not).

 

Shifting to talking about black people "not having very much power in Pickerington" is moving the goalposts, and also moving them into a muddier arena, at that.  What "power" do they lack in Pickerington that their non-black counterparts possess?  Heck, in Pickerington, you'll find a decent number of Greater Columbus' black professional class.  Only 14% of the HS students at Pickerington Central and 9% at Pickerington North are economically disadvantaged, so even if every single one of those was a black student (unlikely), there would still be a solid corps of economically mainstream black students there.  The only Pickerington grad that I knew in my honors dorm at OSU was a black girl, and her parents' house was a definite step above my parents'.

 

Granted, you didn't define "power," so maybe I'm talking past you.  It's true that there are no African-Americans on Pickerington City Council.  But they have a presence in Pickerington that is numerically significant (a bloc of ~20% is nothing to sneeze at) and more economically powerful than the black population in many communities.  I'm pretty sure that calling them a sundown city or a place where "de facto segregation is in full force" is diluting those terms to the point of meaninglessness.

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But there's almost no place in Ohio where I would hold my partner's hand in public (maybe the Short North, or during a pride event).

 

Agreed.

 

 

 

 

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Areas where racial profiling and de facto segregation is in full force in the Cincinnati area: Lebanon, Trenton, Green Township, Glendale

 

Around Columbus: Pickerington, Canal Winchester, Worthington

 

Madness. As an African American who grew up in Glendale my whole life, I have to disagree. Glendale has been around 10-15% black since the late 1800s and I have never encountered any remote sense of racial profiling by either police or other residents. Now Sharonville on the other hand...

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To address Glendale for all of you:

 

Glendale has never embraced a black community.  Doesn't the stagnation of growth illustrate resistance?  Why has every community around it seen its black community grow while Glendale's has stayed the same since the beginning of time?  Does anybody think that's a mistake or coincidence?

 

Saying a community is 10% black means nada in a region like Cincinnati that has one of the oldest urban black communities in the country and the oldest in the state.  A-Rhyme, you grew up there so I don't want to dismiss what you're offering the discussion, but from the info I've gathered over the years, black Cincinnati does not feel wanted in Glendale, and that is de facto segregation.  Otherwise the black population would be over 10%.

 

The police in Glendale are notorious in the area for racial profiling, and I received this information from old black pastors and police officers from other agencies who told me that the community fought hard to NOT be part of the Princeton district and that decades back, it was made very clear for them that establishing churches and moving to that community was not desirable for the white residents and powers that were.  It's still a community with a tiny black population in an area that is surrounded by communities that are much more well-known for having black communities like Woodlawn, Springdale and Forest Park.  I'm happy that  some of you were never profiled in Glendale, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen and that their police force isn't patently racist.  It is.

 

To address Pickerington:  The influx of black people in that community is brand new.  The police are notorious among the black community in Southeast Columbus.  Gramarye, you said it yourself, there are no blacks on council and most of the blacks that live there are affluent.  Almost every affluent community is going to have a small minority population because most minority neighborhoods across the country range from bad to horrifying and there is no motivation for those mobilized professionals to raise their children there and send them to a big-city school district. 

 

The black kids in a place like Pickerington feel pressure to assimilate and don't seem to feel comfortable around other blacks as they grow up and go off to college unless they were raised in a similar environment.  I even went to college with some black kids from Pickerington.  They were so uncomfortable around other black people that it was depressing to watch them fumble their interactions with other black students and then return to their comfort zone around rich white kids.  They would only hang out with white kids because that's all they knew.  They did not appear to have been raised in a culturally-healthy environment.  Pickerington is a community that is overwhelmingly white upper-middle class and a few blacks with money doesn't change anything there.

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To address Pickerington:  The influx of black people in that community is brand new.  The police are notorious among the black community in Southeast Columbus.  Gramarye, you said it yourself, there are no blacks on council and most of the blacks that live there are affluent.  Almost every affluent community is going to have a small minority population because most minority neighborhoods across the country range from bad to horrifying and there is no motivation for those mobilized professionals to raise their children there and send them to a big-city school district. 

 

The black kids in a place like Pickerington feel pressure to assimilate and don't seem to feel comfortable around other blacks as they grow up and go off to college unless they were raised in a similar environment.  I even went to college with some black kids from Pickerington.  They were so uncomfortable around other black people that it was depressing to watch them fumble their interactions with other black students and then return to their comfort zone around rich white kids.  They would only hang out with white kids because that's all they knew.  They did not appear to have been raised in a culturally-healthy environment.  Pickerington is a community that is overwhelmingly white upper-middle class and a few blacks with money doesn't change anything there.

 

That doesn't make it a sundown town by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, this attitude towards what a "culturally healthy" environment is for blacks is truly saddening.  There are serious shades of the attitude that "rich blacks aren't real blacks" in there, which is about as culturally unhealthy a belief as one could fathom.  Likewise, as I said earlier, political power is not everything (not to mention that race isn't everything in politics ... in a place like Pickerington, or most places, for that matter, a wealthy black probably has more political access than a poor white).  And while many affluent communities may well have a small minority population, Pickerington isn't even all that affluent (more than most inner-city neighborhoods, certainly, but not New Albany, Bexley, or even Dublin), and it's minority population is not small--in fact, it's above the state average for demographic makeup.  Are we supposed to count only majority-minority districts as having sufficient black representation?  Numerically, you can't make that many of those.

 

This is going ridiculously far afield.  We started talking about a town that took deliberate public policy steps to reduce its black population by more than 95%, and we're now trying to lump in with that a town that has a significant black professional community and a school system with a black presence above the state average, because too many of those blacks somehow don't count because they're "affluent" and "assimilated?"  I can see that you're not going to let this go, but I seriously don't get it at all.  If anything, I should think you'd want more of those "other blacks" you mentioned to end up "affluent" and "assimilated" rather than trying to dis-assimilate (and perhaps de-affluence) the blacks of Pickerington.

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To address Glendale for all of you:

 

Glendale has never embraced a black community.  Doesn't the stagnation of growth illustrate resistance?  Why has every community around it seen its black community grow while Glendale's has stayed the same since the beginning of time?  Does anybody think that's a mistake or coincidence?

 

Saying a community is 10% black means nada in a region like Cincinnati that has one of the oldest urban black communities in the country and the oldest in the state.  A-Rhyme, you grew up there so I don't want to dismiss what you're offering the discussion, but from the info I've gathered over the years, black Cincinnati does not feel wanted in Glendale, and that is de facto segregation.  Otherwise the black population would be over 10%.

 

The police in Glendale are notorious in the area for racial profiling, and I received this information from old black pastors and police officers from other agencies who told me that the community fought hard to NOT be part of the Princeton district and that decades back, it was made very clear for them that establishing churches and moving to that community was not desirable for the white residents and powers that were.  It's still a community with a tiny black population in an area that is surrounded by communities that are much more well-known for having black communities like Woodlawn, Springdale and Forest Park.  I'm happy that  some of you were never profiled in Glendale, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen and that their police force isn't patently racist.  It is.

 

 

You can quote examples from many neighborhoods who resisted school integration; it isn't a Glendale thing, it's an American historical issue. And it also occurred in the 1950s when Princeton City Schools united, a pretty long time ago. There were minor issues when Lincoln Heights joined in the mid 1970s, but again the residents weren't up in arms against the additional students. It happened and no major acts of violence or harassment ensued. Glendale was home to the only African American school in the Tri-County area for years (Eckstein Elementary on Washington Ave, an Ohio Historical Site). Glendale also has one of the largest black churches in the Tri-County area, Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church on Coral Ave (http://www.mtzionglendale.com/), so I do not know what you are referring to with problems establishing black churches (although Quinn Chapel AME used to be in Glendale on Willow Ave and moved across the border to Sprindgale, but that was necessary to build a larger church). I walk the streets of the village with my dog at all hours of the night and day and never get stares from neighbors or suspicious looks from police. If that ever did occur to others, those days are well passed so it's definitely not appropriate to label Glendale as "racist". The predominantly white population reflects the high home values and per capita income of residents, not to mention the high taxes as well (Glendale is an old money community for sure). If there are other neighborhoods with similar economic demographics and a larger black population, please point them out. I encourage you to read about the history of Glendale. It's quite unique for a village of that wealth, given the historic black population (which is growing actually according to the census), and its difference from similar older communities that actually did resist blacks for a while, such as Reading, Sharonville, and Wyoming. It may have to do with Glendale's history as an Underground Railroad town, but either way it's an interesting read.

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To address Pickerington:  The influx of black people in that community is brand new.  The police are notorious among the black community in Southeast Columbus.  Gramarye, you said it yourself, there are no blacks on council and most of the blacks that live there are affluent.  Almost every affluent community is going to have a small minority population because most minority neighborhoods across the country range from bad to horrifying and there is no motivation for those mobilized professionals to raise their children there and send them to a big-city school district. 

 

The black kids in a place like Pickerington feel pressure to assimilate and don't seem to feel comfortable around other blacks as they grow up and go off to college unless they were raised in a similar environment.  I even went to college with some black kids from Pickerington.  They were so uncomfortable around other black people that it was depressing to watch them fumble their interactions with other black students and then return to their comfort zone around rich white kids.  They would only hang out with white kids because that's all they knew.  They did not appear to have been raised in a culturally-healthy environment.  Pickerington is a community that is overwhelmingly white upper-middle class and a few blacks with money doesn't change anything there.

 

That doesn't make it a sundown town by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, this attitude towards what a "culturally healthy" environment is for blacks is truly saddening.  There are serious shades of the attitude that "rich blacks aren't real blacks" in there, which is about as culturally unhealthy a belief as one could fathom.  Likewise, as I said earlier, political power is not everything (not to mention that race isn't everything in politics ... in a place like Pickerington, or most places, for that matter, a wealthy black probably has more political access than a poor white).  And while many affluent communities may well have a small minority population, Pickerington isn't even all that affluent (more than most inner-city neighborhoods, certainly, but not New Albany, Bexley, or even Dublin), and it's minority population is not small--in fact, it's above the state average for demographic makeup.  Are we supposed to count only majority-minority districts as having sufficient black representation?  Numerically, you can't make that many of those.

 

This is going ridiculously far afield.  We started talking about a town that took deliberate public policy steps to reduce its black population by more than 95%, and we're now trying to lump in with that a town that has a significant black professional community and a school system with a black presence above the state average, because too many of those blacks somehow don't count because they're "affluent" and "assimilated?"  I can see that you're not going to let this go, but I seriously don't get it at all.  If anything, I should think you'd want more of those "other blacks" you mentioned to end up "affluent" and "assimilated" rather than trying to dis-assimilate (and perhaps de-affluence) the blacks of Pickerington.

 

"State average" should not be a water mark that is relevant to a suburb of a major city because there are hundreds of towns around Ohio that only have a handful of minorities, literally.  In the suburbs of many major cities, minorities are sometimes the majority or at least a third of the population.  Pasadena outside of Houston and some of the Paris suburbs are a couple of examples. 

 

Gramarye, your argument is rooted in complacency.  From what I understand, assimilation is a dirty word within minority communities because it suggests that one needs to mold themselves into the image of the majority in order to ratify themselves as palatable.  I've never even heard of the conjunction "de-affluent", but the concept of minorities behaving, speaking and dressing however they want to, within the law, should be welcomed as cultural diversity.  You are arguing for sameness.  Just because a black family lives in a middle-upper class environment doesn't mean that they want be viewed as inferior not because of their bank account, but because of how they don't have a desire to be part of the status quo.  A major frustration within minority communities is the belief held by some (you) that it is an achievement to make themselves culturally more like white people.  It's as if minorities already aren't forced to make enough concessions in life from the time that they are born.  Can't understand that point of view, but we can agree to disagree.

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To address Glendale for all of you:

 

Glendale has never embraced a black community.  Doesn't the stagnation of growth illustrate resistance?  Why has every community around it seen its black community grow while Glendale's has stayed the same since the beginning of time?  Does anybody think that's a mistake or coincidence?

 

Saying a community is 10% black means nada in a region like Cincinnati that has one of the oldest urban black communities in the country and the oldest in the state.  A-Rhyme, you grew up there so I don't want to dismiss what you're offering the discussion, but from the info I've gathered over the years, black Cincinnati does not feel wanted in Glendale, and that is de facto segregation.  Otherwise the black population would be over 10%.

 

The police in Glendale are notorious in the area for racial profiling, and I received this information from old black pastors and police officers from other agencies who told me that the community fought hard to NOT be part of the Princeton district and that decades back, it was made very clear for them that establishing churches and moving to that community was not desirable for the white residents and powers that were.  It's still a community with a tiny black population in an area that is surrounded by communities that are much more well-known for having black communities like Woodlawn, Springdale and Forest Park.  I'm happy that  some of you were never profiled in Glendale, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen and that their police force isn't patently racist.  It is.

 

 

You can quote examples from many neighborhoods who resisted school integration; it isn't a Glendale thing, it's an American historical issue. And it also occurred in the 1950s when Princeton City Schools united, a pretty long time ago. There were minor issues when Lincoln Heights joined in the mid 1970s, but again the residents weren't up in arms against the additional students. It happened and no major acts of violence or harassment ensued. Glendale was home to the only African American school in the Tri-County area for years (Eckstein Elementary on Washington Ave, an Ohio Historical Site). Glendale also has one of the largest black churches in the Tri-County area, Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church on Coral Ave (http://www.mtzionglendale.com/), so I do not know what you are referring to with problems establishing black churches (although Quinn Chapel AME used to be in Glendale on Troy Ave and moved across the border to Sprindgale, but that was necessary to build a larger church). I walk the streets of the village with my dog at all hours of the night and day and never get stares from neighbors or suspicious looks from police. If that ever did occur to others, those days are well passed so it's definitely not appropriate to label Glendale as "racist". The predominantly white population reflects the high home values and per capita income of residents, not to mention the high taxes as well (Glendale is an old money community for sure). If there are other neighborhoods with similar economic demographics and a larger black population, please point them out. I encourage you to read about the history of Glendale. It's quite unique for a village of that wealth, given the historic black population (which is growing actually according to the census), and its difference from similar older communities that actually did resist blacks for a while, such as Reading, Sharonville, and Wyoming. It may have to do with Glendale's history as an Underground Railroad town, but either way it's an interesting read.

 

I respect your knowledge of your town, but I'm not convinced that Glendale has undergone any evolution over the past forty years.  Almost every corner of the United States was segregated 40 years ago, so it is important to examine how a community has changed in the ages since.  Having one black chapel suggests that the few blacks that did live in Glendale and surrounding areas established the church as a haven for their community.  There is strength in numbers, and within a discriminatory society, church is often the only organized structure that minorities are allowed to form or participate in.  Church is seen as a tacit form of organization because when examining the trajectory and history of minority churches across the nation, it often takes decades for a constituency to accrue enough wealth to even erect a respectable structure, let alone be mobilized enough to be a part of any decision-making processes within that community. 

 

Being accepted into a political structure like a community council is very different.  Protection from the elements of the time is how most religious ideologies were founded, and the same is true about individual homes of worship.  You can go to almost any town in any state and find a black church because in the past that was the only unifying element that was permitted to exist for that community.  You cannot prove that Glendale is or has ever been progressive when it comes to welcoming black residents by saying that it had two basic social functions of the segregationist era because the areas around it did not.  Eckstein Elementary is a landmark of segregation.  It was closed because Brown vs. Board told it to.

 

 

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To address Pickerington:  The influx of black people in that community is brand new.  The police are notorious among the black community in Southeast Columbus.  Gramarye, you said it yourself, there are no blacks on council and most of the blacks that live there are affluent.  Almost every affluent community is going to have a small minority population because most minority neighborhoods across the country range from bad to horrifying and there is no motivation for those mobilized professionals to raise their children there and send them to a big-city school district. 

 

The black kids in a place like Pickerington feel pressure to assimilate and don't seem to feel comfortable around other blacks as they grow up and go off to college unless they were raised in a similar environment.  I even went to college with some black kids from Pickerington.  They were so uncomfortable around other black people that it was depressing to watch them fumble their interactions with other black students and then return to their comfort zone around rich white kids.  They would only hang out with white kids because that's all they knew.  They did not appear to have been raised in a culturally-healthy environment.  Pickerington is a community that is overwhelmingly white upper-middle class and a few blacks with money doesn't change anything there.

 

That doesn't make it a sundown town by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, this attitude towards what a "culturally healthy" environment is for blacks is truly saddening.  There are serious shades of the attitude that "rich blacks aren't real blacks" in there, which is about as culturally unhealthy a belief as one could fathom.  Likewise, as I said earlier, political power is not everything (not to mention that race isn't everything in politics ... in a place like Pickerington, or most places, for that matter, a wealthy black probably has more political access than a poor white).  And while many affluent communities may well have a small minority population, Pickerington isn't even all that affluent (more than most inner-city neighborhoods, certainly, but not New Albany, Bexley, or even Dublin), and it's minority population is not small--in fact, it's above the state average for demographic makeup.  Are we supposed to count only majority-minority districts as having sufficient black representation?  Numerically, you can't make that many of those.

 

This is going ridiculously far afield.  We started talking about a town that took deliberate public policy steps to reduce its black population by more than 95%, and we're now trying to lump in with that a town that has a significant black professional community and a school system with a black presence above the state average, because too many of those blacks somehow don't count because they're "affluent" and "assimilated?"  I can see that you're not going to let this go, but I seriously don't get it at all.  If anything, I should think you'd want more of those "other blacks" you mentioned to end up "affluent" and "assimilated" rather than trying to dis-assimilate (and perhaps de-affluence) the blacks of Pickerington.

 

"State average" should not be a water mark that is relevant to a suburb of a major city because there are hundreds of towns around Ohio that only have a handful of minorities, literally.  In the suburbs of many major cities, minorities are sometimes the majority or at least a third of the population.  Pasadena outside of Houston and some of the Paris suburbs are a couple of examples.

 

State average should be relevant to any discussion of minority presence; it's a central statistic in any discussion in which statistics are at all relevant.  Of course, if this is just an emotional screed you're on, then no amount of statistics are going to convince you that your baseless opinion is baseless.  And state average should be particularly relevant in a discussion of sundown towns, since ostensibly the whole point there is whether the town took deliberate steps to drive its black population down to essentially zero.  Similarly, the trend lines matter (as with Greensburg going from 168 to 3 blacks).  By your own words, Pickerington has been growing in black representation.  Any town that is already above the state average in black population and is also increasing in black population has no business being in this conversation.

 

Gramarye, your argument is rooted in complacency.

 

No, it is rooted in statistical evidence, both demographic and economic.  You are trying to say that it's irrelevant, but you have given absolutely no empirical reason for ignoring such evidence.

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Maybe I take more risks with my personal safety due to general obliviousness to danger than I should, or maybe Akron simply doesn't have neighborhoods that compare with the scarier parts of Cleveland, but I have never really felt at risk walking, biking, or driving anywhere in Akron that I've actually been (including the areas south of Delia both north of VOB and further southwest along East Ave. and Manchester, as well as south of the freeway between Brown and Main.

 

 

P.S. Pickerington?  Seriously?  Pickerington Central High School (the original HS) is 23% black, above the state average of 16%.  Even the newer, farther-out Pickerington North HS is 15% black, right about at the state average (which is rare, because most schools are either well above or well below).  That doesn't scream "de facto segregation."

 

23% black at a high school doesn't suggest that black people in Pickerington have very much power in Pickerington, Ohio.  That is not an impressive statistic.  The police are known to target black drivers and the city of Pickerington does not have a good reputation within the black community of Columbus because according to many of them, they don't feel wanted in that community.

 

 

I'll tell you what's going on with Pickerington and Canal: A bunch of racists moved there years ago because there weren't any black people in those towns say 15 years back. But black people from the East Side moved in to send their kids to the schools and avoid the street crime on parts of the East Side. That really pissed of the racists that moved there to avoid blacks. And they can't move again because the houses are mostly of the Mc variety, won't sell for much because they aren't in Dublin, UA, Bexley etc. and the people don't want to move even further from work since 33 is a total nightmare during rush.

 

I don't like doing this, but a lot of times when I find myself driving the other way on 33 through there when people are backed up during rush, I say to myself, "Man, just think, a lot of these people are racists and that's why they're sitting there in traffic like that" I don't really feel that way about other Columbus 'burbs, just those two. Because I know how a lot of them think.

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To address Glendale for all of you:

 

Glendale has never embraced a black community.  Doesn't the stagnation of growth illustrate resistance?  Why has every community around it seen its black community grow while Glendale's has stayed the same since the beginning of time?  Does anybody think that's a mistake or coincidence?

 

Saying a community is 10% black means nada in a region like Cincinnati that has one of the oldest urban black communities in the country and the oldest in the state.  A-Rhyme, you grew up there so I don't want to dismiss what you're offering the discussion, but from the info I've gathered over the years, black Cincinnati does not feel wanted in Glendale, and that is de facto segregation.  Otherwise the black population would be over 10%.

 

The police in Glendale are notorious in the area for racial profiling, and I received this information from old black pastors and police officers from other agencies who told me that the community fought hard to NOT be part of the Princeton district and that decades back, it was made very clear for them that establishing churches and moving to that community was not desirable for the white residents and powers that were.  It's still a community with a tiny black population in an area that is surrounded by communities that are much more well-known for having black communities like Woodlawn, Springdale and Forest Park.  I'm happy that  some of you were never profiled in Glendale, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen and that their police force isn't patently racist.  It is.

 

 

You can quote examples from many neighborhoods who resisted school integration; it isn't a Glendale thing, it's an American historical issue. And it also occurred in the 1950s when Princeton City Schools united, a pretty long time ago. There were minor issues when Lincoln Heights joined in the mid 1970s, but again the residents weren't up in arms against the additional students. It happened and no major acts of violence or harassment ensued. Glendale was home to the only African American school in the Tri-County area for years (Eckstein Elementary on Washington Ave, an Ohio Historical Site). Glendale also has one of the largest black churches in the Tri-County area, Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church on Coral Ave (http://www.mtzionglendale.com/), so I do not know what you are referring to with problems establishing black churches (although Quinn Chapel AME used to be in Glendale on Troy Ave and moved across the border to Sprindgale, but that was necessary to build a larger church). I walk the streets of the village with my dog at all hours of the night and day and never get stares from neighbors or suspicious looks from police. If that ever did occur to others, those days are well passed so it's definitely not appropriate to label Glendale as "racist". The predominantly white population reflects the high home values and per capita income of residents, not to mention the high taxes as well (Glendale is an old money community for sure). If there are other neighborhoods with similar economic demographics and a larger black population, please point them out. I encourage you to read about the history of Glendale. It's quite unique for a village of that wealth, given the historic black population (which is growing actually according to the census), and its difference from similar older communities that actually did resist blacks for a while, such as Reading, Sharonville, and Wyoming. It may have to do with Glendale's history as an Underground Railroad town, but either way it's an interesting read.

 

I respect your knowledge of your town, but I'm not convinced that Glendale has undergone any evolution over the past forty years.  Almost every corner of the United States was segregated 40 years ago, so it is important to examine how a community has changed in the ages since.  Having one black chapel suggests that the few blacks that did live in Glendale and surrounding areas established the church as a haven for their community.  There is strength in numbers, and within a discriminatory society, church is often the only organized structure that minorities are allowed to form or participate in.  Church is seen as a tacit form of organization because when examining the trajectory and history of minority churches across the nation, it often takes decades for a constituency to accrue enough wealth to even erect a respectable structure, let alone be mobilized enough to be a part of any decision-making processes within that community. 

 

Being accepted into a political structure like a community council is very different.  Protection from the elements of the time is how most religious ideologies were founded, and the same is true about individual homes of worship.  You can go to almost any town in any state and find a black church because in the past that was the only unifying element that was permitted to exist for that community.  You cannot prove that Glendale is or has ever been progressive when it comes to welcoming black residents by saying that it had two basic social functions of the segregationist era because the areas around it did not.  Eckstein Elementary is a landmark of segregation.  It was closed because Brown vs. Board told it to.

 

 

 

Thank you for partially illustrating my argument...the entire Tri-State and America as a nation have historically dealt with segregation, not just Glendale, so it's inconclusive to use that reason alone as labeling the village "unprogressive", especially given the lack of contemporary evidence. You are right that blacks in the village historically lived in specific (segregated) sections of town, but those areas were also home to poor Irish families as well. Blacks during this time period also benefited from living in close-knit communities as they could protect each other easily and have a more direct say in their direct community's affairs. A true unprogressive or sundown town of this era wouldn't allow any of this sort of activity to occur within their incorporated limits. Glendale had a segregated black school, unlike adjacent areas, because other areas around it (Sharonville, Evendale, Crescentville, Port Union, etc.) didn't have any black residents period. Lincoln Heights and Woodlawn are the next closest towns to have historic black populations, and they also had their own episodes of racial tension respectively. Lincoln Heights was established as a segregated town for black residents (the first incorporated "black community" in Ohio) and Woodlawn even went so far as adding racist segregation covenants to residences that banned blacks from living in certain wards of the town (Riddle Road), so even these communities had segregation of their own form. Nowadays, there are more upper-middle class black families living in Glendale than the former towns (my street of 8 houses is home to three) and there have been no witch-hunts to chase these, or the low income black residents, from the village or council affairs. My sister recently had a great discussion with the mayor about how he wants to increase the number of affordable condominiums and apartments in the village to increase housing and resident diversity in the village, which is mostly single-family housing. Glendale surely isn't a racial utopia, but honestly where is? The more people label entire neighborhoods "racist" and distance themselves from entire areas because of hearsay, the more racism and prejudice will perpetuate in your environment. That has been my experience, and as a DC area resident now, the case cannot be more true here. The same people who avoid certain areas or people are the same ones who feign racism and hold skeptical perceptions of "race".

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I don't want to put a damper on the discussion, but I agree that there's a distinction to be made between a community that segregated Black (and/or other) residents, and a town that would not allow them to live in the community at all.  Whatever towns might be on his list, Loewen was originally interested in towns where, by law or practice, Whites stopped Blacks from buying property anywhere. In theory, perhaps, there isn't much different from total exclusion and segregation - just because Whites tolerated a black neighborhood doesn't mean that the rest of the town wasn't "sundown" - which could probably be said for most of the US, and still quite true in some neighborhoods today.

 

In a sense, it comes down to a common discussion here on UO about what the "city" is - municipal borders versus metro area. On a smaller neighborhood scale, sundown towns were exceedingly common, they just might not include an entire town or city. But I think Loewen was (narrowly) thinking of complete exclusion.

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But there's almost no place in Ohio where I would hold my partner's hand in public (maybe the Short North, or during a pride event).

 

Agreed.

 

 

 

Interestingly enough, I remember seeing a lesbian couple holding hands walking down one of the busier streets in little ol' Norwalk. They weren't hassled at all.  I noticed them on my way home from high school, (and as someone still semi-in-the-closet at that point in my life.....it was very refreshing to see). This was about ten years ago; and I've noticed that as homosexuality has become more plevalent/ mainstream today, especially in Generation Y (X, too), people are much more open in areas where you wouldn't think.  I've publicly held hands with another guy in downtown Sandusky without any problems.  Of course, there are still many instances of gay-bashing, but it's very nice to see that opinions are changing! :)

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Thanks everyone for your comments so far. The little I know about the site:

 

1. Not all towns listed are sundown towns, and not all sundown towns are on the list. I think an original list was generated based on black populations - those towns with few or no black residents were considered to be "probable" sundown towns, and then users sent in comments or other suggestions.

 

2. There are other towns on the list that are specifically NOT sundown towns, some of them with asterisks.

 

3. Read about Reynoldsburg if you haven't already. Jesus.

 

4. As for the original comment about Mitch Daniels, Loewen wrote an article in 2006 claiming that a sundown town in Indiana, Greensburg, was essentially being rewarded with a huge new Honda plant because it had no black residents, which apparently is something that Honda looks for. THis is the article Loewen claims got him disinvited by The Indiana Civil Rights Commission. I have newfound intensive dislike of that company now. Was/is Marysville an unfriendly place for Blacks?

 

I really appreciate the stories, especially those like yubh8tin's about what his parents told him about where not to go.

 

When I ask this question in my undergraduate classes, the white men usually don't have as clear answers as the White women, whose parents apparently tell them to stay away from any city over 200,000 people, but specifically: All of downtown Toledo, East Cleveland, Dayton, Over the Rhine. You know, the chocolate cities. For the few Black students, the responses range from "south of Wal-Mart" (any rural area) to "the West side of this town" (away from campus). I have almost no Latino/Hispanic/Mexican students, so that's a whole 'nuther problem.

 

That's always an eye-opening conversation for most of my rural White students.

 

As for sexual orientation, I've found that as long as I'm 'covering' that I feel OK just about anywhere. But there's almost no place in Ohio where I would hold my partner's hand in public (maybe the Short North, or during a pride event).

 

In our purple college town, we get yelled at from big, micro-penis masking TRUCKS (usually, "Fag" but also "Chink") about once a month when we are walking together, so, that makes us hate living here sometimes.

 

However, I have not (yet) been physically assaulted in Ohio, and ironically, the place where I was subject to the worst gay-bashing I've yet experinced was on the streetcar up Market in San Francisco heading toward the Castro. So, nowhere is really immune.

 

That is so sad.  I live in Cleveland, granted Shaker Square is as liberal and gay as it gets, but I would walk around the square and hold my Ex-partners had.  Downtown, Tower City (in it uber gay heyday) Coventry, Fairmont, University Circle.  I've never felt I couldn't be "me" as an adult in my city.

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As for sexual orientation, I've found that as long as I'm 'covering' that I feel OK just about anywhere. But there's almost no place in Ohio where I would hold my partner's hand in public (maybe the Short North, or during a pride event).

 

In our purple college town, we get yelled at from big, micro-penis masking TRUCKS (usually, "Fag" but also "Chink") about once a month when we are walking together, so, that makes us hate living here sometimes.

 

However, I have not (yet) been physically assaulted in Ohio, and ironically, the place where I was subject to the worst gay-bashing I've yet experinced was on the streetcar up Market in San Francisco heading toward the Castro. So, nowhere is really immune.

 

That is so sad.  I live in Cleveland, granted Shaker Square is as liberal and gay as it gets, but I would walk around the square and hold my Ex-partners had.  Downtown, Tower City (in it uber gay heyday) Coventry, Fairmont, University Circle.  I've never felt I couldn't be "me" as an adult in my city.

 

I'm glad you have a better sense about the atmosphere in Cleveland. I have to say I've felt quite comfortable there too.

 

We probably need to be a bit more courageous about in our little town, but since we went through a pretty bitter LGBT-rights ordinance a few years ago, I have little stomach for putting up with nasty comments in my home turf anymore. Courage...

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Interestingly enough, I remember seeing a lesbian couple holding hands walking down one of the busier streets in little ol' Norwalk. They weren't hassled at all.  I noticed them on my way home from high school, (and as someone still semi-in-the-closet at that point in my life.....it was very refreshing to see). This was about ten years ago; and I've noticed that as homosexuality has become more plevalent/ mainstream today, especially in Generation Y (X, too), people are much more open in areas where you wouldn't think.  I've publicly held hands with another guy in downtown Sandusky without any problems.  Of course, there are still many instances of gay-bashing, but it's very nice to see that opinions are changing! :)

 

I wonder sometimes if men attract more negative comments than women, particularly if the women are thought to be attractive by straight men ('the fantasy') or if they give off the vibe that they'd beat the ever-living-crap out of anyone who crossed them. (My partner was the target of a pair of those when he left his doggies in the car for a few minutes at Cols Pride. They screamed at him that he should be killed.) I know there's a big range of women, of course.

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Interestingly enough, I remember seeing a lesbian couple holding hands walking down one of the busier streets in little ol' Norwalk. They weren't hassled at all.  I noticed them on my way home from high school, (and as someone still semi-in-the-closet at that point in my life.....it was very refreshing to see). This was about ten years ago; and I've noticed that as homosexuality has become more plevalent/ mainstream today, especially in Generation Y (X, too), people are much more open in areas where you wouldn't think.  I've publicly held hands with another guy in downtown Sandusky without any problems.  Of course, there are still many instances of gay-bashing, but it's very nice to see that opinions are changing! :)

 

I wonder sometimes if men attract more negative comments than women, particularly if the women are thought to be attractive by straight men ('the fantasy') or if they give off the vibe that they'd beat the ever-living-crap out of anyone who crossed them. (My partner was the target of a pair of those when he left his doggies in the car for a few minutes at Cols Pride. They screamed at him that he should be killed.) I know there's a big range of women, of course.

 

I think its cultural.  Women can hold hands or walk arm and arm without anyone thing they are "gay".  However, in Europe you see STRAIGHT men hug, kiss and walk arm-in-arm.

 

Other "culture" thing is swimwear and topless sun bathing. In the States, if a guy wears a speedo, oh he must be gay, anywhere other than S. Florida.  Go to Mediterranean, S. America, Southern Europe or the Caribbean, no one blinks.

 

I'll go one more, topless sun bathing.  (Many) people in the states are very uptight about this.

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Interestingly enough, I remember seeing a lesbian couple holding hands walking down one of the busier streets in little ol' Norwalk. They weren't hassled at all.  I noticed them on my way home from high school, (and as someone still semi-in-the-closet at that point in my life.....it was very refreshing to see). This was about ten years ago; and I've noticed that as homosexuality has become more plevalent/ mainstream today, especially in Generation Y (X, too), people are much more open in areas where you wouldn't think.  I've publicly held hands with another guy in downtown Sandusky without any problems.  Of course, there are still many instances of gay-bashing, but it's very nice to see that opinions are changing! :)

 

I wonder sometimes if men attract more negative comments than women, particularly if the women are thought to be attractive by straight men ('the fantasy') or if they give off the vibe that they'd beat the ever-living-crap out of anyone who crossed them. (My partner was the target of a pair of those when he left his doggies in the car for a few minutes at Cols Pride. They screamed at him that he should be killed.) I know there's a big range of women, of course.

 

I think its cultural.  Women can hold hands or walk arm and arm without anyone thing they are "gay".  However, in Europe you see STRAIGHT men hug, kiss and walk arm-in-arm.

 

Other "culture" thing is swimwear and topless sun bathing. In the States, if a guy wears a speedo, oh he must be gay, anywhere other than S. Florida.  Go to Mediterranean, S. America, Southern Europe or the Caribbean, no one blinks.

 

I'll go one more, topless sun bathing.  (Many) people in the states are very uptight about this.

 

Good point. Speedos are all the rage in Japan, but not that I mind.

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Forty years ago, my brother told me that there was a "sundown" message painted on a wall in Niles. I don't remember where it would have been.

 

There were no black kids in my graduating class, despite that our bordering city of Warren had about 10,000 black people.  I lived outside of the city limits and there were two black families on my block. When I was a grade schooler, I didn't even realize that my one friend was black. His family talked with a southern twang that was not unlike that of the Appalachian immigrants to Niles. 

 

Niles is a disgusting town in several respects. That web site's account of gangsters and lawlessness was right on. The city departments were staffed with shiftless cronies. The police were on the take from the drug rackets. Discos were burned if they didn't pay protection. I visited last month. It didn't bring back any "fond memories".

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Forty years ago, my brother told me that there was a "sundown" message painted on a wall in Niles. I don't remember where it would have been.

 

There were no black kids in my graduating class, despite that our bordering city of Warren had about 10,000 black people.  I lived outside of the city limits and there were two black families on my block. When I was a grade schooler, I didn't even realize that my one friend was black. His family talked with a southern twang that was not unlike that of the Appalachian immigrants to Niles. 

 

Niles is a disgusting town in several respects. That web site's account of gangsters and lawlessness was right on. The city departments were staffed with shiftless cronies. The police were on the take from the drug rackets. Discos were burned if they didn't pay protection. I visited last month. It didn't bring back any "fond memories".

 

Thanks for your comments. I've read a bit about the Detroit suburbs - many of them that border Detroit were until very recently, 99% White, which cannot happen without some kind of 'sundown' policy or practice. I'd guess that any nearly all-White suburb that borders a diverse city would have to have some characteristics of a sundown town. There may not have been a sign, but real estate practices, police actions, and other daily micro- and macro-aggressions must have kept people out.

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Detroit.... I'd guess that any nearly all-White suburb that borders a diverse city would have to have some characteristics of a sundown town. There may not have been a sign, but real estate practices, police actions, and other daily micro- and macro-aggressions must have kept people out.

Little Italy in Cleveland had harassment and maybe one murder of black man that I read about in The Free Times in the 1990s. I am sure that the developers are responsible for the segregation in our metropolitan areas. They would post billboards at the entrance of a new development that proclaimed "exclusive and restricted", which meant that they would not sell lots to black people and the banks were not going to finance construction for black people.  That established a virtual wall at the border of Cuyahoga County that kept the black people out of Wickliffe and Willowick.

 

It was truly shameful for the state that fostered abolitionism and waved the bloody shirt about defeating the degenerate rebels/Democrats for a century after the civil war.

 

Those lending policies were not made illegal in all of America until about 1980. People who moved to "nice" neighborhoods could expect their real estate to multiply in value and make them quite wealthy, while those stuck in the city have undesirable real estate that falls in value. Contemporary conservatives have the bad taste to excoriate black Americans and ask them: "why the hell are your neighborhoods so bad and why haven't you pulled yourselves up out of squalor?" 

 

In the South, "Democrats" is a euphemism for "blacks".

 

We should start a thread on Ohio abolitionists. It was a number of Ashtabulans who kicked ass in Bleeding Kansas and tried to start a slave rebellion at Harper's Ferry.  I saw a great miniseries on PBS in January that is a wonderful starting point: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/abolitionists/

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Detroit.... I'd guess that any nearly all-White suburb that borders a diverse city would have to have some characteristics of a sundown town. There may not have been a sign, but real estate practices, police actions, and other daily micro- and macro-aggressions must have kept people out.

Little Italy in Cleveland had harassment and maybe one murder of black man that I read about in The Free Times in the 1990s. I am sure that the developers are responsible for the segregation in our metropolitan areas. They would post billboards at the entrance of a new development that proclaimed "exclusive and restricted", which meant that they would not sell lots to black people and the banks were not going to finance construction for black people.  That established a virtual wall at the border of Cuyahoga County that kept the black people out of Wickliffe and Willowick.

 

It was truly shameful for the state that fostered abolitionism and waved the bloody shirt about defeating the degenerate rebels/Democrats for a century after the civil war.

 

Those lending policies were not made illegal in all of America until about 1980. People who moved to "nice" neighborhoods could expect their real estate to multiply in value and make them quite wealthy, while those stuck in the city have undesirable real estate that falls in value. Contemporary conservatives have the bad taste to excoriate black Americans and ask them: "why the hell are your neighborhoods so bad and why haven't you pulled yourselves up out of squalor?" 

 

In the South, "Democrats" is a euphemism for "blacks".

 

We should start a thread on Ohio abolitionists. It was a number of Ashtabulans who kicked ass in Bleeding Kansas and tried to start a slave rebellion at Harper's Ferry.  I saw a great miniseries on PBS in January that is a wonderful starting point: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/abolitionists/

 

Excellent points. I didn't think much about this growing up, until an Indiana history class in college, where my prof taught about the Klan in Indiana and called it a terrorist group (way before 9/11), and made it clear to us in no uncertain terms that the antebellum South deserved to be destroyed. It's shameful to see some of the same post-Civil War practices in any northern city, but there were plenty of Northerners who sympathized with the South, even in Ohio. Oberlin's own history of racial integration is not so clear cut as it would appear, either.

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