by Cody McDevitt (Jour'07)
(The History Press, 224 pages; 2020)
In 1923, in response to the fatal shooting of four policemen, the mayor of Johnstown ordered every African American and Mexican immigrant who had lived in the city for less than seven years to leave. They were given less than a day to move or would face crippling fines or jail time and were forced out at gunpoint. An estimated two thousand people uprooted their lives in response to the racist edict. Area Ku Klux Klan members celebrated the creation of a "sundown town" and increased their own intimidation practices. Figures such as Marcus Garvey spoke out in Pittsburgh against it as newspapers throughout the country published condemnations. Author and journalist Cody McDevitt tells the story of one of the worst civil rights injustices in Western Pennsylvania history.