Home » Michigan » Mason

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

Sundown Town Status

Sundown Town in the Past?
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Don’t Know
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Don’t Know

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1950 3514 16
1970 5468 59
1980 6019 104
1990 6283 246 2
2000 6714 43 31 48
2010 8252 483

Method of Exclusion

  • Unknown

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black
  • Hispanic
  • Other


Nearly all of Mason’s 1990 black population were young men, indicating a prison or a military base. In Malcolm X’s autobiography, he notes that only one black family, the father of which had been a football star in high school, was allowed to live in Mason in the

* In 1970, 52 of the 59 were black males.

* In 1980, on 25 of the 104 black residents were living in households, 79 were inmates of an institution. Out of the 104, only 19 were female.

6/2013 email from a longtime resident: “I’m a mixed (native american, Mexican, and white) young woman who has lived here all her life.
Mason is the Ingham county seat, so the county jail is located within city limits.
Police officers are notorious for targeting young people (especially young minorities).
In the last two years, there’s been a rise in minority families (especially Latino) due to school closings in the Lansing area. There haven’t been any reports of violence, but it’s well known that the community at large is unhappy with it.
As of the 2010 census, there are 8,252 people. The racial makeup of the city is 90.2% white, 5.9% black, 0.4% native, 0.9% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.7% of the population.
There’s always been a big resistance to Latino, especially Mexican, families. I’m in high school and it’s pretty common to hear racial slurs. In one week alone I was called a spic three times. The significant thing about that is that it’s not always obvious I’m mixed.
At the high school level, the white students make a point to know who’s not one of them. This allows for the situation that I just mentioned to happen.”