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Showing Bishop in CA...

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?Probable
Year of Greatest Interest
Was there an ordinance?Don't Know
Sign?Don't Know
Still Sundown?Probably

Census Information

Tell Us More About This Town
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Method of Exclusion
Private Bad Behavior

Main Ethnic Group(s).

Group(s) Excluded

"The town's large employers, especially government agencies and utilities operating in the area like Southern California Edison, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power would occasionally try to transfer families of color into town. They never lasted; within six months to a year, they'd moved on. Given the remoteness of the town (when I was growing up there, we had the only stoplight for 140 miles in any direction), it's not surprising that I was 16 years old before I ever talked to a person with black skin. "One day when I was in my teens [circa 1974], my father told me that the whiteness of the place was one reason he'd brought the family there. He went on to say that there were men in town who considered it their duty to 'quietly encourage' any black folks to move right on through if they looked like they might consider settling. This was my first introduction to the idea of sundown towns and to the notion that my hometown was white by design, not chance. Other adults told me that we didn't have any black residents because 'they don't like the cold.' ('But there are big black neighborhoods in New York and Chicago...' I remember thinking.) "In recent years, the state has suggested putting a prison in Bishop. Due to its remote location and low cost of living, it would make some bureaucratic sense. But the local folks have defeated the proposal every time it's come up. While I tend to agree that the last thing the town needs is a prison, those against tend to express their opposition in terms of veiled racism: they don't like the idea that the government will import black people (and their families, who might follow) into town in large numbers. 'They might stay, and we won't be able to get them to move on' is a common argument." -former resident of Bishop
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