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Showing Anna in IL...

Basic Information
Type of PlaceIndependent City or Town
Metro Area?Independent City or Town
Politics c. 1860?Strongly Democratic
Unions, Organized Labor?Don't Know

Sundown Town Status
Confirmed Sundown Town?Surely
Year of Greatest Interest1909
Was there an ordinance?Don't Know
Sign?Yes, Strong Oral Tradition
Still Sundown?Probably

Census Information
TotalWhiteBlackAsianNativeHispanicOtherBHshld
18601758*0
18702697*44
18801494
18902295
190026180
191018091
192030191
193034362
194040920
195043803
196042801
1970
1980
1990480524
200051364941892
20104422509
2020

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Method of Exclusion
Violent Expulsion

Main Ethnic Group(s).
English

Group(s) Excluded
Black

Comments
1990, median owner-occupied housing unit, $37,700
Anna has blacks in the 1990 census, but zero black households.
2000, lists two households but their total population = 3. I consider only one a household (since a household must have >1 person acc. to IRS!). 88 blacks 6 wh/bl, but mostly in mental hospital. 63 male: 2 <5; 1 10-14; rest adult. 26 female: 3 <5; 2 10-14; rest adult. NONE 5-10. Some babies may be with adults in hospital?

Anna was named for Anna Davie in 1853 or '54 but drove out its black population in 1909; for many decades "ANNA" has been said to mean "Ain't No Niggers Allowed," according to residents of Anna, 2002 and residents of nearby towns.

"The feeling against Negroes is high here. The town has one black family. The large stone quarry here has some thirty or forty negroes employed. They will be warned to leave the vicinity. If the blacks remain it is feared trouble will occur." (Carbondale Free Press, 11/13/1909)

c.1947, "I went into a shop and splurged with a baseball mag and a shoeshine. Immersed in the mag during the shine, I looked up and was astonished to see a white man, the proprietor, shining my shoes. That evening I mentioned it to kinfolk, who said, verbatim: "Niggers aren't allowed in Anna. If one is seen, they're told to not let the sun set on their black heads. If you want niggers, go to Carbondale." (email, 8/2003)

Blacks who worked at Anna State Hospital c.1971 did not live in town, but commuted from Cobden, Cairo, etc. (Cath. priest, 4/2003)

"I was appalled at the closed-mindedness of Anna HS," a nearby resident told me in 2004. One of my daughters graduated from there in '95, one in '98. "Oh no, there are no black people in Anna today."

I have detailed oral history of the sign and its location.
See important article, Centralia Sentinel, 1/3/1982

One resident wrote in 2010 that one year prior a friend who was half African-American was denied one morning in an Anna restaurant because of the color of her skin.
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