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From Sundown Towns to Black Lives Matter: Race and Racism in Small-Town America

The police killings of George Floyd and others have sparked a national resurgence in the movement for Black lives. While many protests have taken place in large cities, smaller, rural towns across the country have also seen similar awakenings.

Last fall, ProPublica Illinois engagement reporter Logan Jaffe reported on the small town of Anna, Illinois, reputed to be a sundown town where, historically, Black people were not welcome after dark. Last month, young activists confronted that history and their own experiences there by organizing Anna’s first Black Lives Matter protest — just one of many demonstrations that have occurred nationwide in small, rural, mostly white communities.

On July 14 at 2 p.m. CDT / 3 p.m. EDT, join Jaffe, two of the organizers of that protest, and sociologist James Loewen for a conversation moderated by ProPublica Illinois reporter Mick Dumke. They will explore the history and current state of sundown towns and how young people are leading efforts to bring attention to racial injustice in these communities. They will also answer your questions.

This event has ended.

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