Home » Illinois » Sidell

James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.

Sidell

Illinois

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

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Possible
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Sign?
Don’t Know
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Don’t Know

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1860
1870
1880
1890
1900
1910
1920
1930
1940 0
1950
1960
1970 0
1980 0
1990
2000 626 624 1 0 1 4 181 0
2010
2020

Method of Exclusion

  • Unknown

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black

Comments

A longtime resident said there was only black student at her high school and that her school was all-white once he graduated. She also mentioned a time when a teacher mentioned dating blacks in the past%u2014another student in her class walked out of the room, verbally expressing a loss of respect for this teacher. Later when the teacher reported it to the principal, no action was taken and the principal had not response. This resident very firmly stated there is an informal consensus among residents that Sidell does not want any blacks living in town.

A longtime resident remembers many incidents of overt racism against blacks and Jews growing up in Sidell. It was common to hear adults and children use “n—–” as a slur. In high school, another student showed her a white hood he kept in his backpack and drew swastikas on her pencil case after learning about her dating relationship with a Jewish student from another town. Another student drew swastikas on the whiteboard of a classroom and was not punished for it.

When her African American boyfriend came to visit Sidell, a longtime resident recalls locking the doors of their car and rolling up the windows until they arrived at their destination for fear of people’s reactions.