This Fall term Professor Jean Moule taught her course TCE 408H “Sundown Towns in Oregon” and she invited the OMA to be a part of the classroom experience!
Natalia, OMA Archivist, and Tiah, SCARC’s Instruction Archivist, worked with Professor Moule to design the course and acted as research consultants throughout the class. The two credit class began with a meeting in the SCARC reading room with an introduction to archives and archival research. Over the course of the next two months we met to discuss the book Sundown Towns by James Loewen, we traveled to the coast to get hands-on archival research experience, and we designed a display for the Valley Library: “Sundown Towns in Oregon: Reflections on the Research Process”
So, what is a Sundown Town?
A Sundown Town is “any organized jurisdiction that for decades kept African Americans or other groups from living in it and thus “all-white” on purpose…from about 1890 – 1968, white Americans established thousands of towns across the United States” (Sundown Towns, 4)
And, why is knowing about and understanding Sundown Towns important?
“Recovering the memory of the increasing oppression of African Americans during the first half of the twentieth century can deepen our understanding of the role racism has played in our society and continued to play today” (Sundown Towns, 16)
Photos of the Display and More Information about Sundown Towns is available through the Sundown Towns in Oregon Flickr Set
Want to learn more about Sundown Towns?
Check out Jim Loewen’s Sundown Towns website
Dates: Mid-November 2012 – Mid-December 2012
Location: OSU Valley Library, 5th Floor, across from the main elevators
Exhibit Curation: TCE 408H Students and Natalia Fernández, Oregon Multicultural Librarian