Narratives are personal stories that help enrich the reader’s understanding of a time period, person, place, or event. These are first-person views of history taken from personal recollections, memoirs, diaries, and oral histories.

Information included in this section is not fact checked by the Encyclopedia staff. The author of the Narrative is entirely responsible for its content.

We moved to Winslow, Arkansas, from Washington DC in 1977. I was a seventh-grade student, and the first thing I noticed was that we were all white. In fact, my Jewish/Native American mother was the closest thing to a minority they had in this small town. Our eighth-grade history project involved removing many layers of billboard ads off an old billboard to reveal a sundown-town sign. This was a chilling sign to a young girl who was raised around African Americans and truthfully educated with many black people. The “N word” was not used in my house. What was more chilling to me was that my study partner said to me that everyone not only knew about the sign, but just because it was covered didn’t mean it wasn’t still in place. The only reason my mom wasn’t chased out of town was that she was considered my dad’s “squaw.” This billboard stood covered, but people knew it was there until 2000 when it burned and was replaced by a sturdier billboard.

Kelly Ann Jennings-Coble
Spokane, WA

I live in Sheridan; I am white and my husband is black. At the Wal-Mart in Sheridan, some customers will not let the black workers check them out. My husband and I get looked at, and I get called a Negro lover. A supervisor of mine at work also told me what they do to Negroes and how they get rid of their bodies. I just ignored him.
My husband and I enjoy living in this town, but people still act like whites run the town. My husband doesn’t work because we don’t trust daycare just because of what we are told. We stay to ourselves and don’t eat out because we don’t trust what they would do to the food. At a local restaurant before my husband was handed his food, we watched as the cook put a mop on his head and started saying slangs. That was the first and last time we went out to eat.

Sheridan, AR