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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.

Jasper

Indiana

Basic Information

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

Sundown Town Status

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Surely
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Sign?
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
1860
1870
1880
1890
1900
1910
1920 2539 0 0
1930 3905 0 0
1940
1950 5215 0 0
1960 6737 0
1970 9641 1
1980 9097 0
1990 10030 15
2000 12100 30 49 10 408 10
2010
2020

Method of Exclusion

  • Threat of Violence
  • Reputation

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black

Comments

A former Indiana resident writes:
%u201CIn Evansville, which has a sizable black population compared to the rest of southern Indiana, it has apparently long been the practice (and still was in 2001 from what I heard) to play away games at Jasper earlier in the day than usual. The reason: it was still commonly understood that for the safety of the student athletes of color and their parents, the team needed to be out of Jasper before dark or as close to it as possible. Apparently this fear went so far that the teams would only stop at McDonalds or wherever on the way back to Evansville outside of Jasper.%u201D

A former Indiana high school cheerleader from 1974-76 writes:
%u201CI recall only one trip to Jasper, but don’t remember which year. I believe it was a basketball game. We rode with the team on buses and remember that these otherwise big, tough black athletes were really scared about going. There was talk on the bus about Jasper being the KKK capitol of Indiana and we were all worried about violence. Central, at that time, was probably about 10 15% black and we didn’t really see much racial violence. Athletes in particular were usually well respected. The basketball team was racially mixed, not predominantly black. I remember that we were carefully escorted into and out of the school. I don’t remember anything about the game, but when we left, rocks were thrown at the bus. The driver got us out of town in a hurry and no one was hurt. Now that I think back, it seems unusual that we didn’t contact the police or otherwise pursue any kind of legal response. We just got the hell out of town. I don’t remember ever going to Jasper after that. Maybe the school instituted a policy against traveling there, I don’t know.%u201D

A current Indiana resident wrote: “I have heard stories of how intolerable attitudes were in the past. One lady shared with me that the deed of a house that she had acquired for Habitat for Humanity had a clause stating that the house should not be sold to a person of color.”