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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.

Fair Lawn

New Jersey

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?
Don't Know
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
2000 31637 28960 234 1558 13 1744

Method of Exclusion

  • Private Bad Behavior
  • Zoning

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black
  • Jewish


Fair Lawn is one of New Jersey’s many boroughs, a type of municipality unique to the state.

Fair Lawn resident:

“I live in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, of which Radburn is a district. I am active on safety and security issues here in town, and have been promoting a policy of ‘zero tolerance for bigotry’ as part of our work.

“The idea is that prejudice between neighbors will inhibit them from coming together in times of need. I am part of the Jewish community here, and the group with whom I work has built a website: www.fairlawnsecurity.com. You will note that we describe the problem of prejudice this way with regards to safety ands security:

“There is no doubt about it. Fair Lawn is certainly a fine town, and I am glad my family lives here. However, we have had problem with anti Semitism for decades. These actions include verbal assaults, physical assaults and other acts of intimidation…

“I have found many Jews here in town over age 70 to make the claim that Radburn excluded Jews for the longest time. Of course, it is now probably half Jewish, but I know for a fact many people connected with it still harbor anti Semitism.

“It has also been know for a long time at least in the street that blacks were kept out of this town. If you look at the small number of blacks that live here, you could believe it. Again, my problem is that if our town is going to have the level of safety and security it needs in the future, we must get a handle on all the bigotry and make sure it does not interfere.

“My problem is that I have not found much substantiation for your claims about Radburn. I do believe you, but I really do not have anything to offer skeptics in terms of ‘proof’. Can you give me any assistance here? It could go a long way towards helping people face the fact that our town has a racist history; must own up to it; control any dynamics that are now at play; and move forward with the community safety and security measures we need to enact.”