November 9, 2007
From the 1890s to the late 1960s, many white populations in towns across the United States purposely established policies to keep African Americans out. Such towns were commonly called “sundown towns” due to the fact that it was understood by black people that they should not be there when the sun went down. Many towns openly posted signs, and in others, the policy was taken for granted. Towns such as Mena (Polk County), the subject of this 1920s advertisement, proudly advertised the fact that the town was all white.