Origin of darktown

An Americanism dating back to 1880–85; dark + town

Usage note

This term from the 1880s, as used in the American South, is usually perceived as insulting and racist. But Darktown Strutters’ Ball was the name of a popular jazz song written in 1917.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for darktown

Historical Examples of darktown

  • Madge soon reached the edge of darktown, taking a main street which led to the better section of Claymore.

    The Secret of the Sundial

    Mildred A. Wirt, AKA Ann Wirt