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Showing Ferguson in MO...

Basic Information
Type of PlaceSuburb
Metro Area?St. Louis
Politics c. 1860?
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status
Confirmed Sundown Town?Unlikely
Year of Greatest Interest2014
Was there an ordinance?No
Sign?No
Still Sundown?Surely Not

Census Information
TotalWhiteBlackAsianNativeHispanicOtherBHshld
1860
1870
1880
1890
1900
1910
1920
1930
1940572438
19501157325
19602214915
197028759165
198024740
199022286
2000
2010
2020

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Method of Exclusion
Police or Other Offical Action;Realtors;Reputation;Other

Main Ethnic Group(s).

Group(s) Excluded
Black

Comments
According to John A. Wright, Kinloch: Missouri's First Black Town (Chicago: Arcadia, 2000), p. 127, Ferguson blocked the main road to Kinloch, the tiny black suburb to its west, with chains, trying to keep out black residents.

Between 1940-60, while Ferguson's white population grew by almost 400%, its black population was cut by 60%. Meanwhile, the black population of the St. Louis metropolitan area doubled, from just under 150,000 to just under 300,000.

In August, 2014, Ferguson received national attention for what seems to be an example of a "second-generation sundown town problem." Such problems linger in former sundown towns and suburbs that are obviously no longer all-white on purpose. Ferguson never quite attained sundown town status, but it did use DWB ("Driving While Black") policing and realtor steering, as well as the above-noted chains, to get as white as it could. In 2014, the police force had just 3 blacks out of 50 officers. Considering that it just makes sense to send black officers to the site of black disturbances and white officers to white disturbances, such a ratio is not competent. Moreover, while a proportion = to the proportion in the population is not required, 3 out of 50 is less than one per shift, so it is unlikely that many of Ferguson's white officers have had the experience of being partnered with an African American, serving under one, or even simply having the chance to converse about the world with a black officer.

The 2014 incident, the shooting of Michael Brown, black teenager, by a white policeman, triggered days of demonstrations verging on riots, a militarized police response, and a national news storm.

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