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Showing Naperville in IL...

Basic Information
Type of PlaceSuburb
Metro Area?W. Chicago
Politics c. 1860?
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status
Confirmed Sundown Town?Surely
Year of Greatest Interest
Was there an ordinance?Perhaps, Some Oral Evidence
Sign?Perhaps, Some Oral Evidence
Still Sundown?Surely Not

Census Information
TotalWhiteBlackAsianNativeHispanicOtherBHshld
186025991
187017130
188010730
189022160
190026291
191034490
192038302
193051180
194052721
195070134
19601293312
19702388543
198042330314
199085351789981795
2000

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Method of Exclusion

Main Ethnic Group(s).

Group(s) Excluded
Black

Comments
A 1938 article from the Pittsburgh Courier stated that William Pickens, NAACP official, who visited Naperville to speak at the Illinois Central College was a unique exception to policy of this all-white town. "Although Negroes are not only barred from living here but are traditionally not allowed to stay overnight, William Pickens remained overnight with the family of the city's leading minister, Dr. Eder." (ProQuest Historical Newspapers) In 1966, two black scientists from New Jersey tried to buy housing in Naperville because their employer was relocating to the area. This article from the New York Times in 1966 discusses the racial discrimination in housing that occurred in Naperville. "Two Negro scientists say they have been unable to find suitable housing in the suburban Chicago community where they are to be employed...The company is transferring them to Naperville [however] the Negroes, both of whom hold Ph.D. degrees, said real estate agents in the area would only sell them homes in Negro neighborhoods a long distance from their work." (ProQuest Historical Newspapers) By the 1990's, Naperville was no longer sundown, however it may have been by as late as the 1970s. Naperville has a reputation of being all-white, which according to a realtor is one of its finer "selling points." According to a resident, there is a church in Naperville that had an image of an African American man in the stained-glass window. The church was burned down, and the residents stated that it was because no African-Americans were allowed in town after sundown. The church was rebuilt around the 1920's and the stained glass window with the African American man was reinstalled. "He" was quoted to have been the first African American man to spend the night in Naperville.
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