Letters from a Sundown Town

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The chapter, which encompasses sections entitled Synthesis and Letters, follows the call of Black feminist scholar Brittney Cooper for white people to speak up when they witness racial injustices. Overall, the project addresses inequities and repression in regard to racialization and racism. The chapter's title calls attention to the paradox that I write against racism at the same time that I reside in a 'sundown town', a label that originated in the 1860s' USA when African Americans were not permitted to be present after sundown in specific communities. Currently, exclusion of and discriminatory practices towards African Americans in early USA sundown towns continues (Loewen 2006, 2008, 2019). The Synthesis is an overview of the aims and theory of the chapter; the Letters section is comprised of my selected 2016-2019 correspondence. Foundational thought (Seligman, Weller, Puet and Simon 2008) on which I build the project argues that humans remain in a myriad of bounded cultural spaces that will not linearly progress to common good or dissolve into utopia. The letters preserved in this essay place humans next to each other (in real time, virtually and/or imaginatively) just as art, religion, and communal activities do, but that is as close as humans get; cultural critique espoused in my letters does not necessarily cure discriminatory and xenophobic beliefs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEthnographic Borders and Boundaries
Subtitle of host publicationPermeability, Plasticity, and Possibilities
EditorsRobert E Rinehart, Jacquie Kidd, Karen Nicole Barbour
PublisherPeter Lang Publishing
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781789975505
ISBN (Print)9781789975499
StatePublished - Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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