Home » Arkansas » Provo

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
1990 419 0

Method of Exclusion

  • Threat of Violence
  • Violence Towards Newcomers

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black


“The year I first experienced racism was 1934. I was four years old, but… this was one of those things you just can’t forget.

“Me and my family moved from Lockesburg, AR, to Provo, AR. My daddy was a sharecropper, and we moved to Provo to work for a white man on his land.

“When word got out that [the man] was moving us to Provo to work for him, white folks all over the place got mad. Provo was an all-white town. There were no blacks there and they wanted to keep it that way…

“Our problems started the first night we were in Provo [in 1934]. Mama and Daddy heard some noise outside and looked out. They saw some white men behind bushes and trees. Me and my older brother went to see what was going on. We saw the men and we heard them yelling, ‘Get out niggers.’

“Then they opened fire – they shot right through the house. Mama grabbed us and threw us down on the floor. Mama laid on top of me and my brother. Daddy also dropped down on the floor…

“The shooting went on every night for two weeks. You had to know my daddy to understand the type of man he was. My daddy was not afraid of anything or anyone, and he was not going to let them run us off. Then, one night, Arthur Lee was lying down, and a bullet almost hit him. It was about an inch above his head. Then another bullet hit the window above, and the glass splattered in his face. It was a close call. My daddy finally decided to move after this. We loaded up the wagon the next day….

“The day we left, me and [my brother] were playing around outside and we went under the house.
We ran across two sticks of dynamite between the pillars… When we found that dynamite, we knew that we wouldn’t have made it through another night.”
– a former resident of Provo