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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.

Vidor

Texas

Basic Information

Type of Place
Independent City or Town
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Surely
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Sign?
Perhaps, Some Oral Evidence
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Probably

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 2136 2135 0 1
1950 2136 0
1960
1970 9738 9705 0 6 10 17
1980
1990 10844 0
2000 11440 11135 8 25 59 339 213 1
2010
2020

Method of Exclusion

  • Threat of Violence
  • Private Bad Behavior
  • Reputation

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black

Comments

Vidor, a suburb of Beaumont, gained notoriety in
the early 1990s when African Americans – the first in
the town – moved into a local housing project. Ku Klux
Klan demonstrations and threats from white residents
cause the new black residents to flee. The federal
Office of Housing and Urban Development got
involved, and attempted to move more black families
into the housing project. They were also threatened
and also moved.

“I can not speak to the present demographics of
Vidor, but I have ALWAYS heard stories about how
blacks were advised NOT to stop in Vidor for any
reason.”
-posted to the web, 2000

A University of Texas – Houston undergraduate
student witnessed a family of Asian Indians denied
service at a McDonald’s in Vidor in 1992 or 1993. They
were told “We don’t serve your kind; there’s a bus
station down that way.”

“Among both Whites and people of color, Vidor
remains a well known bastion of bigots. C.R., an Euro-
American who grew up in Beaumont, but now resides
in College Station, says that she was not surprised
when on a business trip to Louisiana, her African
American and Latino colleagues did not want to stop
in Vidor for gas. R.H., an African American, delivered
the mail in Vidor for a short time. He was continually
taunted by Vidor residents, threatened with physical
violence, and refused service in a local convenience
store because of his ethnicity.”
-from the Summer 1998 issue of the Touchstone,
Texas A&M University

Many residents of Vidor or near by towns had heard
of or seen a sundown sign. It appears to have been
taken down sometime in the 1970s or early 1980s.