Home » Arkansas » Paragould

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?
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
1930 5,966 20
1950 9,668 53
1960 9,947 13
1970 10,639 14
1990 18,540 17
2000 22,017 31

Method of Exclusion

  • Private Bad Behavior

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black


A woman from Lincoln, NE, attending her high
school reunion at Paragould High School, asked how
the town was still all white. She was told, “oh, we have
a committee that takes care of that.”

Paragould High School has four blacks of 770
students. They are all from one family; a white school
secretary thinks one parent may be white. “I see more
and more of that. My youngest daughter, seems like
that’s all she wants!”
“We’re thinking of going to the Arkansas State Fair
this year, and a friend told us to take a pistol. It’s in a
black neighborhood.”
There are no problems when Paragould plays teams
with black members. The few blacks in the HS play the
role of athlete or clowns, she says.

A hotel owner in Paragould says that in 1983, a
restaurant across the street from his hotel locked out
2 black Union Pacific employees. Police officers
accused the men of trying to break in. “The white boys
in the restaurant were cracking up over it… the black
guys were so scared,” he says.
When told the NE woman’s story, the hotel owner
says “They don’t need a committee. If black people
come in, they will find that they’re not welcome here.”

Some residents think that the sundown policies of
Paragould are preventing the town from growing. “If
this thing [racism] goes out of here, Paragould will
grow rapidly,” said one man.