Home » Ohio » Norwood

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
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
1920 24966 95
1940 34010 60
1950 35001 48
1960 34580 36
1970 30420 33
1980 26126 97
1990 23674 23197 238 78
2000 21675 20429 509 189
2010 19207 1465 80 154

Method of Exclusion

  • Unknown

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black


One resident who was a policeman before he became a professor claims that during the riots of 1964, they manned the border with Cincinnati, and “any black would be shot” who tried to cross the border. Whites were ready to kill any black who crossed the line.

Norwood is a working class auto-workers’ town.

Email testimony from 2011: “Until the 80’s or 90’s this town was definitely a sundown town. You had to be across the railroad tracks into Evanston at night.”

Email testimony from 02/2014 confirms that despite a present small black population, it was not safe to be seen after the sun set: “If you were Black, you did not venture off of the main road going through Norwood. You stayed on Montgomery Rd. If you worked in the auto factory — you still kept on Montgomery Rd to go home after your shift. You never went to the streets leading off Montgomery Rd, and I was nearly 50 before I ever saw the houses and streets that made up Norwood. I was a teenager when a group of young white boys tried to run my boyfriend and I off of the road. Just happened to be a policeman riding from the opposite side and saw the incident. He pulled them over as my boyfriend backed off of the sidewalk. It was very frightening! We were just as afraid of the police as we were the carload full of boys. It was at night and we were driving down Montgomery Rd to Kennedy Heights. He asked them what happened (even though he witnessed the incident). The driver said we tried to run them off the road. He told them to all get back in the car, be careful, and go home. He asked where we were going and a lot of other questions, and asked to see my boyfriend’s license. He told us to watch how we were driving, and reminded us that we didn’t need to be driving through Norwood if we didn’t have business to be there. He told us this was a warning. He then told us to get in our car and he followed us through Norwood on Montgomery Rd until we were in the next neighborhood; then he turned around and we continued on. That was Norwood!
Now — white kids in Norwood are listening to rap music with droopy pants. There are many white girls with biracial children there. Blacks are renting apartments in Norwood. And there is a heavy population of Latinos living there. I am on business in Norwood, interacting with elderly white folks there. I say to myself sometimes ‘So this was all there was back here? This was it? Wow…'”