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James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.

Cairo

Illinois

Basic Information

Type of Place
Independent City or Town
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Unlikely
Was there an ordinance?
Sign?
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Surely Not

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1860
1870
1880
1890
1900
1910 14548 5434
1920 15203 5000
1930
1940
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990 4846
2000 3632 1305 2241
2010
2020

Method of Exclusion

Main Ethnic Group(s)

Group(s) Excluded

Comments

In 1880, each of Cairo’s wards had 35-57% black households. Little segregation, then, by ward. “By 1915 this process had come to a halt and the integrated society that had accompanied the urbanization of Cairo was gone.” Now one ward was 66.3% black and two others were only about 16% black.

“In 1880 nearly a third of all south Cairo white residents had lived next door to black households; in 1915 fewer than one in ten white households in the whole city had black neighbors.” Many blacks now lived outside CAIro’s city limits, to the N, “in an almost totally black subdivisioin, appropriately named Future City.”

Cairo High School desegregated in 1968. Some whites pulled out to a private academy, “Camelot,” but it closed in 1986. Between 1968-72, no teams would play in Cairo, fearing the violence (which did occur, between blacks and whites in Cairo).

Bad things also happened when predominantly Black Cairo teams played in sundown towns like Anna.