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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.

Fouke

Arkansas

Basic Information

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

Sundown Town Status

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Surely
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Sign?
Yes, Strong Oral Tradition
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Probably

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
1920
1930
1940
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990 634 0
2000 814 2
2010
2020

Method of Exclusion

  • Unknown

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black

Comments

email 2/2008

In 2005, three white men burned a cross on the front yard of a black resident living in/near Fouke. They were arrested and convicted. One was sentenced to home detention, probation, and a $2,000 fine. Sentencing for the other two has been contested and is still uncertain as of 3/2008.

New sentencing hearing ordered for two convicted of hate crime
***

email 11/2007:
One person at the NAI Workshop, 11/2007, said the Fouke monster was said to eat African Americans who remained there after dark. Another person said he thought that was just an example of conflation.
***

Fouke’s two African-American residents are an aged couple in their seventies.

“There are no black children in the schools. They had one Asian child, and one Latino, but they didn’t
last but one year.”

“As of 2:00 P.M may 23 2001, it is still nigger free, no niggers bus in and urine head would piss in his
pants if he stoped in that town.”
-Fouke resident

“They don’t try any one thing. The colored people
just don’t have any business here, and so they don’t
try to live here.”

“As far back as the late twenties colored people
weren’t welcome in Fouke, Arkansas to live, or to work
in town. The city put up an almost life sized chalk
statue of a colored man at the city limit line, he had an
iron bar in one hand and was pointing out of town
with the other hand. The city kept the statue painted
and dressed, really taking good care of it. Back in
those days colored people were run out of Fouke, one
was even hung from a large oak tree, and there’s a
tree that is still referred to as the hanging tree. The
man was hung with a necktie and a red handkerchief;
a five-dollar bill was sticking out of his pocket for any
person wanting to bury the man. The story was that
the man had come into Fouke, committed rape among
other things, was apprehended and hung. Justice was
served. The original ‘hanging tree’ died of natural
causes back in the mid sixties. The story has been
passed on to another tree that could easily be
mistaken for the original tree. My guess is that Fouke
will always have a ‘hanging tree,’ the name being
passed down from one tree to another, keeping the
story alive. As of this date there are no colored people
living within miles of Fouke, so the attention getter,
the means to shake the little town up isn’t ‘the
Russians are coming,’ it’s someone is importing
colored people into town.”