The long and storied history of Texas tends to have its skeletons. Some of those skeletons come in the shape of a dark, racist relic of Time called 'sundown towns'.
Sundown towns were more or less edicts that barred African-American and hispanic individuals from living within a town. This could be enforced in a number of ways.
- Population: 545
Alba had a thriving coal mine industry in the late 1800s. But unlike other coal mines in the state, those at Alba were forced to use convict labor. Why? Well, because Alba was a sundown town that banned African Americans and Hispanics from living or working there.
- pop: 27,098
Located in Brazoria county, Alvin's claim to fame is as the home of famed baseball player Nolan Ryan. In the 1930s it was notorious for its sundown town status.
- Population 2,246
Located in the troubled Comanche County, De Leon was founded in 1881. Now, Comanche was already a county with a troubled history, as black porters would hide in the baggage cars as trains passed through. As for De Leon, it became a sundown town following a murder that led to the lynching of a Black suspect, when the white residents visited the homes of all black residents and "told them to leave the county within 10 days".
- Population 768
An unincorporated community in Kaufman County. Residents of Elmo adopted a resolution in 1892 declaring Elmo a sundown town and barred African-Americans from living there
- Population: 600
Located in Polk County. Leggett became a sundown town in 1919, after a white council set a curfew for blacks, banned formal meetings, and barred them from visiting the railroad station or post office.
- Population 17,465
The county seat of Kaufman County. In 1892, the city of Terrell was a sundown town, with wide-reaching prohibitions against African-Americans living there.
- Population 9,789
Located in Orange County. Vidor is one of the more notorious sundown towns of Texas history. In 1993, a federal edict ordered that 36 counties in East Texas (including Vidor) desegregate public housing by making some units available for minorities. Vidor's leaders fought the order in the courtrooms and after losing, the Klan from another area held a march in the community. More recently, a rally was held during the Black Lives Matter movement and an estimated 150-200 supported attended.