A Rule of Cicero

Well into the twentieth century, Cicero would remain synonymous with intolerance and corruption. It would come to be seen in the same light as other symbolic places, like Ocoee, Florida, or Forsyth County, Georgia, where many blacks dared not think of living and thought twice before even driving through, well into the 1990s. By then Cicero was racked by a series of scandals involving a mayor who would ultimately serve prison time on federal corruption charges. Even white immigrant families were leaving Cicero, ceding it to Mexican immigrants. In 2000, the U.S. Census found that, of Cicero’s population of 85,616, just one percent of the residents were black, nearly half a century after the riots that kept the Clarks from moving in.

– From The a Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson

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