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File #: P-1920-27    Version: 1 Name: Sundown Town Apology Proclamation
Type: Proclamation Status: Passed
File created: 1/23/2020 In control: City Council
On agenda: 1/28/2020 Final action: 1/28/2020
Title: PROCLAMATION P-1920-27: A SUNDOWN TOWN APOLOGY AND RECONCILIATION PROCLAMATION OF THE CITY OF NORMAN, OKLAHOMA, PUBLICLY CONDEMNING AND APOLOGIZING FOR HISTORICAL SUNDOWN PRACTICES IN NORMAN AND RENEWING ITS COMMITMENT TO BUILDING AN INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY FIRMLY DEDICATED TO INCLUSIVITY, EQUALITY, AND JUSTICE FOR ALL RESIDENTS.
Attachments: 1. City Council Staff Report, 2. P-1920-27, 3. Pertinent Excerpts from ICS Report and Recommendations, 4. Sundown on the Prairie Article

Title

PROCLAMATION P-1920-27:  A SUNDOWN TOWN APOLOGY AND RECONCILIATION PROCLAMATION OF THE CITY OF NORMAN, OKLAHOMA, PUBLICLY CONDEMNING AND APOLOGIZING FOR HISTORICAL SUNDOWN PRACTICES IN NORMAN AND RENEWING ITS COMMITMENT TO BUILDING AN INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY FIRMLY DEDICATED TO INCLUSIVITY, EQUALITY, AND JUSTICE FOR ALL RESIDENTS.

 

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BACKGROUND:  In a special meeting held on September 16, 2019, the Norman Human Rights Commission created and appointed an Inclusive Community Subcommittee which met with an independently contracted consultant in four regular meetings and three special meetings from September through December to prepare a report and list of recommendations on how the City could be more inclusive.  The final report was approved unanimously by the Inclusive Community Subcommittee on December 16, 2019.  One of the recommendations was to approve a Sundown Town Apology and Reconciliation Proclamation, a sample of which was included in the report and recommendations as Appendix B.

 

 

DISCUSSION:  The recommendation for the City to approve a Sundown Town Apology and Reconciliation Proclamation, like all of the recommendations in the report, was approved unanimously by the subcommittee.  This recommendation was based in part on information provided in the article, “Sundown on the Prairie:  The Extralegal Campaigns and Efforts from 1889 to 1967 to Exclude African Americans from Norman, Oklahoma,” written by Michael S. Givel, Ph.D., a Professor of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma, which was published in The Chronicles of Oklahoma in the Fall of 2018.  Dr. Givel was also a member of the Inclusive Community Subcommittee and drafted the sample proclamation included in the report as Appendix B.

 

The article discusses the extralegal sundown practices that took place both in Norman and in Cleveland County from 1889 through 1967 even though there were no explicit sundown ordinances officially passed by the City of Norman.

 

Proclamation P-1920-27 publicly condemns and apologizes for these historical sundown practices and renews the City of Norman’s commitment to building an inclusive community firmly dedicated to inclusivity, equality, and justice for all residents.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:  Proclamation P-1920-27 is being submitted for City Council consideration.