Racism has had a profound effect on communities all across the world. In the US, Illinois has a long history of racial discrimination. This article explores cities in Illinois that have a notable history of racism.
Sundown Towns in Illinois
Sundown towns were areas where Black people were afraid to go after nightfall. Sometimes there were signs put, saying things like “Whites only inside the city limits after dusk.” After laws against this kind of discrimination were passed during the Civil Rights era, these practices became less common.
Cities with Racist Histories
A number of Illinois cities have received recognition for their long history of racism:
- Anna: Situated in southern Illinois, this city bears the legacy of being a sundown town.
Cicero: Gaining notoriety for housing discrimination in the late 1960s.
Pekin: Formerly known as a sundown town and KKK stronghold, Pekin is working to move beyond its racist history.
Other cities including Benton, Effingham, Salem, Vienna, and Granite City have a reputation for being sundown towns or having a history of racial discrimination.
The Worst Cities for Black Americans in Illinois
Eight Illinois cities were listed as among the 15 worst for Black Americans in a 24/7 Wall St. survey. Peoria, Decatur, Kankakee, Springfield, Danville, Chicago, Naperville, and Elgin are some of these cities.
Even while racism has a history in many places, it’s important to recognize that many of them are actively working to move past their past and create a more inclusive future. But racism’s legacy still hangs over these communities, emphasizing the necessity of ongoing initiatives to guarantee justice and equality for all citizens.