Home » Minnesota » Edina

James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

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



Basic Information

Type of Place
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Don’t Know
Unions, Organized Labor?
Don’t Know

Sundown Town Status

Sundown Town in the Past?
Was there an ordinance?
Yes, Written Evidence
Don’t Know
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Probably Not, Although Still Very Few Black People

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1940 5855 10 6
1960 28501 11 32
1980 46073 235
1990 46070 44774 333 136
2000 47425 44712 546 219

Method of Exclusion

  • Private Bad Behavior
  • Zoning

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black
  • Jewish
  • Unknown


We received an email from a source familiar with the Twin Cities metro neighborhoods: “Presently racial exclusion in Edina is achieved primarily through segregation by income, a “more acceptable” and certainly more covert means than city ordinance. This of course “appears” to create a social stratification, but in essence also creates a racial one. Even the shopping scene is socially/racially exclusive in that “commoners” cannot afford to shop at the local shops and groceries (one of which has carpeted aisles!). There is of course Black exclusion. However the Minneapolis/St. Paul area is home to a large community of Native Americans as well as many Somalis, Ethiopians and Hmong, all of which are excluded from the confines of Edina.”

According to a former resident, “I once saw the ordinance while doing research for a civics class. The ordinance went something like this: “No colored person shall be on the streets of Edina from after sundown until dawn unless going straight to or coming straight home from servant’s quarters.” At the time (early 1970’s), it was still on the books. Once, in the late 1960’s, there was a neighborhood meeting held at our house. The subject was the African American doctor and his family who wanted to purchase a home in the neighborhood. The comments from my neighbors were appalling. They of course mentioned that property values would go down if this was allowed, never mind that the guy was a physician. Many of the neighbors mentioned that they moved to Edina specifically to avoid the ‘coloreds’ and to avoid having mixed race grandkids.”

A longtime resident said Edina’s sports teams and their fans would throw food stamps at visiting players from poorer towns. At a meeting addressing concerns about a new housing development being built in Morningside, a suburb of Edina, he asked if there was any city mandate requiring affordable housing to be built. The other people at the meeting went silent at this question and many were visibly upset. This resident also recalls a time in the late 1960s when a friend’s parents bought a house and read documents stating that the house could not be resold to Jews.

Many residents joke that Edina stands for “Every Day I Need Attention” and is known for its refusal to build affordable housing to prevent low income residents.