I’m not a kid anymore. But some days I sit and wish I was a kid again.

Not really. Well. Okay. Maybe SOMETIMES. Because I miss playing outside!
Tag! Climbing trees! Riding my bike! Ding dong ditch! (‘cause I was bad)
Stuff kids don’t do anymore. Because they’re boring…
and might break their electronic devices when they take them outside
(Ahem. Yes. I am the pot calling all y’all kettles black)
(To be fair though, I DO have so much fun that I put my phone down. Which is why I’m always leaving it somewhere)

Anyways. I hope that y’all are old enough to have had the kind of childhoods where you spent time outdoors.
I (mostly) appreciated it. I DID NOT appreciate:
     1. Being told to go play outside when NOBODY was around to play with and so basically me and Nisha just sat out on auntie Ve’s              front porch mad because there was nothing to do and they wouldn’t let us back in.
     2. Having to stay within eyeshot because some of my friends lived around the corner/waaaayyy down the street and if they didn’t              come to me I couldn’t go to them.
     3. The mad dash home because I had to be home before the street lights came on. Because y’all don’t wanna know about what                 happens when you don’t beat the street lights home.
          a. I’m sure you can console yourself, Mommy, with the fact that the statute of limitations is probably up on beating your children.
          b. And also you moved out of the state.
          c. And also I’m grown so I can’t call the people on you.
               i. Which if I HAD (as a child), they better hadda came and got me. Because SHEEEIIIIT.

And with #3, let’s get to today’s fact! Back in the day when I wasn’t alive, there were towns that were purposely all-white. And to make sure they stayed that way they posted signs saying that black people had to leave town by sundown. OR ELSE* Usually the signs weren’t that polite. For instance, in the 1930’s, Hawthorne (CALIFORNIA. CALIFORNIA) had a sign posted that said “Nigger, Don’t let the sun set on YOU in Hawthorne”.

This exclusionary practice was borne out of the north where many African Americans made their living by working as domestic servants in white homes and towns. Nightly curfews were implemented to “encourage” domestic workers to leave the town after their daytime shifts ended. In some cases, the exclusion was an OFFICIAL town policy or restrictive covenants agreed to by the real estate agents in the community. In others, the policy was enforced through intimidation. This intimidation could occur in a number of ways, including harassment by the officers of the (G-DAMN) law.

I would like to leave this here for a second and talk about what a pain in the ass it is to travel through PREDOMINANTLY white towns like, Irvine, and Beverly Hills, and the like. Because they routinely stop people of color for going 1 mile over the speed limit or because “you look like someone reported as a suspect in the area” (we don’t all look alike! Just ask Lawrence Fishburne!)

“Do you know why I pulled you over?” My guess is that saying because I’m black would not help your cause at ALL, even though it’s true.

Moving on. Since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and especially since the Civil Rights Act of 1968 prohibited racial discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing, the number of sundown towns has decreased. DECREASED. Not disappeared (Please see above mentioned cities)

And so that’s today’s fact guys! Back in the day, when I wasn’t alive and today, in 2014, there are towns where being black after dark is a crime. Which I guess isn’t so surprising, since it’s also a crime in the DAYTIME in some towns. And I guess I could probably say some STATES too, since Florida has been in the news because you can KILL a black boy, but if you shoot and MISS him, then you might go jail for attempted murder. But I’m not gonna. Because I feel like those things aren’t related at all.


*OR ELSE – Harassment, and Violence, and Lynchings! Oh SHIT My!