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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.


New York

Basic Information

Type of Place
CDP, Unincorporated Borough, or MCD
Metro Area
Long Island
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?
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
2000 15791 15286 49 265 10 586

Method of Exclusion

  • Unknown

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black
  • Jewish


Former Seaford Resident:

I also recall as a child in the mid 50s and early 60s hearing a fire horn sound at noon and at 6:00 pm. I don’t know whether this was just to allow everyone in town (Seaford, NY, on Long Island a few miles from Jones Beach) to have accurate clocks, or whether it was a part of the same restrictive ways you spoke of. When my family moved there in 1954 there were no blacks, and only a handful of Jews.

As for Seaford, NY, I don’t know anyone in town who could help with whether it was an officially restricted area. We moved away in 1966. I can tell you, though, that in about 1960 a “block busting” effort (as I believe it was called back then) was rumored to be the cause of the first, and for many years the only, black family’s move into town. Shortly before the oldest child came to school for the first time, many were saying that their parents would not let them go to school if HE was going to be there. (I had grown up in NYC public housing and public school through the third grade and couldn’t at the time understand what all the fuss was about, though I knew about whites not liking blacks, etc.) This never came to pass. The school was fully attended that day, but during recess after lunch, I recall how the poor kid was surrounded by what seemed like hundreds so that they could get a look at a black in the flesh. Though the town is about 30 minutes from the NYC line in Queens, many had never been to the city! Unfortunately, the newly arrived outsider was named Charlie Brown, and so the popular song of the time didn’t help when it came along. He also didn’t graduate, which may have been a result of the problems I can only imagine he faced through the years that followed. I lost track of him after we both passed out of our senior year, as I did with all of my classmates.%u201D