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Showing Springdale in AR...

Basic Information
Type of PlaceIndependent City or Town
Metro Area?Independent City or Town
Politics c. 1860?
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status
Confirmed Sundown Town?Surely
Year of Greatest Interest
Was there an ordinance?Don't Know
Sign?Yes, Strong Oral Tradition
Still Sundown?Surely Not

Census Information

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"Springdale used to be 'Sundown Town' as recently as twenty years ago, but now has a large number of Hispanics living there." A 1952 brochure from the Chamber of Commerce touts Springdale as "a city of 7,000 people, all white native born true Americans." "I have a friend... [who] saw it himself. Bill can't for sure say he saw it past the late 50s. A man at the senior center places last seeing it in 'the 60s.' Yet other people around here mention that it was seen as late as 1976. "It was wooden, at the city limits, near a cluster of Kiwanas club and other signs. It faced Fayetteville (south). It read, according to my senior center witness, 'Black man, don't let the sun set on your back' in this town... "Bill says the last few times he saw it, it was faded, the paint peeling. This is interesting, because it shows how 2 different populations can claim opposite truths and both be right: If you saw it and knew what it *used* to say, you'd say, 'it was there as late as x year.' But if you weren't an old timer, all you'd see when you looked in the same spot is a faded old sign; you wouldn't really 'see' it. You could truthfully say, I was there in x year, and there was no such sign. So it remained as a 'trace' or residue for a long time. And no one ever said anything like, 'This sign is a shame - let's acknowledge what it was - we must tear it down now, in a very public way.' "They just let it fade away silently, and slunk away from it, so to speak. And now the young students want to deny it was even ever there." -UA-Fayetteville professor "[My sister] told me that it was certainly well known that blacks did not live in or even visit Springdale until very recently. She is an accountant and even today a black client of her's who lives in Fayetteville is very reluctant to bring his taxes to her because Springdale has such a notorious reputation for violence toward blacks. She is not sure about whether the city had a law on the books but there certainly was a de facto law. That there were no blacks does not seem to be accidental. There are a few black people who now live in Springdale but do not have an easy time of it. The odd thing is that there has been a large influx of Hispanics and southeast Asians who've come to work in the chicken plants. They are much better accepted than blacks, but that's not saying a whole lot... My brother in law is a cop and I've often heard him laugh about stopping black men for no reason and then provoking them into reacting to him so he would then have a 'reason' to beat them up. He was quite proud that he could do this and then be able to arrest them. Some joke, eh?" -Arkansas resident A Christian Coalition meeting held a debate among 5 Springdale mayoral candidates. In a discussion about non-discrimination clauses, "candidate Timothy Hill went much, much farther [than other candidates], to the first applause of the evening and several other expressions of enthusiasm. 'Homosexuals are perverts,' he declared. 'This is a Christian nation. To put up with perversion like that, you're willing to put up with anything. They've spread their disease worldwide....' he said, adding 'I will do everything I can to keep them out of Springdale, including enforcing the sodomy law.' The candidate then promised to post a sign at the city limits saying, 'No fags in Springdale.' Another sign he'd like to see would read, 'Welcome to Springdale: Home of God- fearing, armed Christian citizens.' Hill believes that with an armed citizenry and the creation of a voluntary militia, the police force could be cut in half at a cost savings." About Town: Springdale State: AR Message: I moved to Springdale in 1984 and it was common to hear classmates referring to a sign that posted, "Nigger don't let the sun set on your ass". It was posted at both ends of town, 'north' and 'south'. The one on the north end was placed at the Arkansas Missouri Railroad over pass on 71 business. I never heard where the other was located. The kids from Springdale would drive to Fayetteville to yell obsentities at African Americans. They would call the target neighborhood, "Nigger holler", which was located just below the square in Fayetteville. The signs in Springdale were removed somewhere in the early 70's. Blacks were not treated well in this town until the early nineties and are still a very small minority in Springdale. In fact, I didn't notice any blacks in Springdale until after a growth explosion. Hispanics and Illegal aliens flooded the NWA area. I found the acceptance of Latinos to be ironic with the black predudices.
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