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Showing Reading in OH...

Basic Information
Type of PlaceSuburb
Metro Area?Cincinnati
Politics c. 1860?Don't Know
Unions, Organized Labor?Don't Know

Sundown Town Status
Confirmed Sundown Town?Probable
Year of Greatest Interest1930s
Was there an ordinance?Don't Know
Sign?Perhaps, Some Oral Evidence
Still Sundown?Probably Not, Although Still Very Few Blacks

Census Information
TotalWhiteBlackAsianNativeHispanicOtherBHshld
1860
1870
1880
1890
19003076
19103985
1920454077
1930572359
194060790
1950783603
1960128311
1970143036030
198012843
199012038172
200011292361

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Method of Exclusion
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Main Ethnic Group(s).
Unknown

Group(s) Excluded
Black

Comments
According to a local college student, Reading and Lockland, suburbs NE of Cincinnati, were connected by a bridge that is marked: "1909 The first concrete rainbow arch bridge built in Ohio." It still stands. It goes over a small stream that divides the towns. There was a sign on a bridge that read "No Niggers After Dark." Testimony of a Reading resident: "There was a sign on the bridge between Reading and Lockland that told 'em they had to be out by sundown. It was gone by 1940. I was sborn in 1930. I heard about it from my Dad." Blacks lived in Lockland and in Lincoln Heights. One eyewitness notes, "During the course of my life, I have come to know far too many places that meet the criteria you have defined... I will name three of them for you, they are: Reading, Ohio [blacks there by the 1970s] Milton, West Virginia Nappa Valley, California" According to a former resident who lived in the town from 1936 to 1942, "I recall that it was sort of understood (although I don't remember how we became aware of this) that blacks were not allowed in town after sundown. I don't recall seeing more than one or two in town in the daytime during the entire time I lived there." Email from 2014: "In the 70s, my father told me that Reading OH was known as a sundown town snd that he himself had been warned to be out by sundown." Email from 2015: "I worked with an elderly pharmacist in the late 1970s. He told me that when he was a young man he would beat any blacks that were still in Reading after dark. He used a phrase that I remember to this day "let the sun never set on a black man in Reading"." The email messenger later estimated that the pharmacist was likely referring to a time in the 1930s.
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