The Legend of Anna: American Town Where Black People Weren’t Welcome After Dark

noticias mexicodigital

ProPublica Illinois is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force.

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By Roberto Medina/mexicodigital

I GOT INTO TOWN JUST AFTER SUNSET.The lights were on at a place called the Brick House Grill, and if you were out on South Main Street on a Friday night in February, chances are, that’s where you were going. So I went in, too.

I took a seat at the bar. A man two stools over from me struck up a conversation. I told him I was a journalist from Chicago and asked him to tell me about this town. “You know how this town is called Anna?” he started. “That’s for ‘Ain’t No Niggers Allowed.’” He laughed, shook his head and took a sip of his beer.

The man was white. I am white. Everyone else in that restaurant in Anna was white.

Later that night…

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