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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.

Miami Beach


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

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

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1930 6,494 230
1940 28,012 736
1950 46,282 605
1960 63,145 493
1990 92,639 4,798

Method of Exclusion

  • Unknown

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black
  • Jewish


email 9/2007:

%u201CNegroes were not allowed after 9:00 PM on the islands comprising Miami Beach. This was not a matter for any public discussion or public notice, by the way; it was quietly understood. (It can be assumed that the very rich may have housed some servants in their mansions with impunity, however.) Yet by the turn of the Century, 3,548 blacks were residing successfully on Miami Beach%u2014coming to over four percent of its total population.%u201D — Vaughn Davis Bornet, %u201CHow Race Relations Touched Me During a Long Lifetime, History News Network, hnn.us/articles/42042.html, 9-03-07

Through 1960, most of Miami Beach’s black population were live-in domestic workers. In 1940, only 2 of the 736 black residents were underthe age of
14. In 1950 and 1960, the black population was overwhelmingly female.

“Miami Beach FL [was sundown] at least in the late 40s, early 50s. Some exceptions, like for hotel maids
and bus boys and Sarah Vaughan. Because she brought in [white] paying customers, I suppose, not because she was part owner of the hotel she
performed in.”

“Palm Beach and Miami Beach require all Negroes to be off the streets and out of the city limits by 8PM,
unless obviously engaged in domestic service, delivering merchandise, or some similar work.”