Poem – DON’T LET THE SUN GO DOWN ON YOU (By Ray Gallucci)



(Based on the article “No Welcome Home” in The History Channel Magazine, January/February 2008, pp. 40-45; and other Internet sources)


Ever hear of Sundown Town?

Likely not, few tales around.

History kept underground

Lest embarrassment be found.


Born and raised in Illinois,

Town of Anna, since a boy?

Went to school there, first employed?

Small town living, just enjoyed?


Never wondered from where came

Hometown’s simple, friendly name?

Just assumed some famous dame

Name of “Anna” was to blame?


But its roots are none too proud —

“Ain’t No Negroes (Here) Allowed!”

Though weren’t “Negro” said aloud,

But the “N” word by the crowd.


Now you know why housing tracts

Were devoid of families Black,

And why classrooms always lacked

Others but your pale-faced pack.


Ever lived in Kennewick,

Washington?  Yet never picked

Up on how it once had kicked

Those of color out by six.


Even in Connecticut —

“After dark, Blacks won’t admit” —

Sat a sign quite prominent

On display at city limit.


If suppose just tales from past,

Post-War Civil shadows cast,

Long dispelled by laws amassed,

Realize even now they last.


No, such towns don’t advertise.

But through word of mouth and eyes

Ever watchful, keep their prize

To themselves with clever guise.


Blame the South for racial woe?

History would have us know

Northern states share in the glow

Even when the cross burns low.


Author Bio:

I am a Professional Engineer who has been writing poetry since 1990. I am an incorrigible rhymer, tending toward the skeptical/cynical regarding daily life. I have been fortunate to have been published in poetry magazines and on-line journals such as NUTHOUSE, MOTHER EARTH INTERNATIONAL, FEELINGS/POETS’ PAPER, MÖBIUS (when Jean Hull Herman published), PABLO LENNIS, MUSE OF FIRE, SO YOUNG!, THE AARDVARK ADVENTURER, POETIC LICENSE, THUMBPRINTS, UNLIKELY STORIES, BIBLIOPHILOS, FULLOSIA PRESS, NOMAD’S CHOIR, HIDDEN OAK, PABLO LENNIS, POETSESPRESSO, SOUL FOUNTAIN, WRITER’S JOURNAL, ATLANTIC PACIFIC PRESS, DERONDA REVIEW, LYRIC, THE STORYTELLER, WRITE ON! and DANA LITERARY SOCIETY.