I asked Guy Lancaster, editor of the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture why he was so interested in Sundown towns. Sundown towns started in the late 19th century and were places in Arkansas and our nation that blacks were not welcome after dark. In fact the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture notes that sundown towns didn’t reach their peak until the 1970’s.
“Many people will tell you that the reason there were no blacks in various places throughout Arkansas was simply because blacks didn’t want to be there,” says Mr. Lancaster. He believes that if we understand that we created sundown towns then we might be more mindful of the ways in which we develop our communities in the future.