Shaw, Mississippi

Coordinates: 33°36′6″N 90°46′15″W / 33.60167°N 90.77083°W / 33.60167; -90.77083
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Shaw, Mississippi
Mississippi Blues Trail marker for David "Honeyboy" Edwards in Shaw
Location of Shaw, Mississippi
Location of Shaw, Mississippi
Shaw, Mississippi is located in the United States
Shaw, Mississippi
Shaw, Mississippi
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 33°36′6″N 90°46′15″W / 33.60167°N 90.77083°W / 33.60167; -90.77083
CountryUnited States
CountiesBolivar, Sunflower
 • Total1.11 sq mi (2.88 km2)
 • Land1.11 sq mi (2.88 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
131 ft (40 m)
 • Total1,457
 • Density1,309.07/sq mi (505.46/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code662
FIPS code28-67000
GNIS feature ID0677626

Shaw is a city in Bolivar and Sunflower counties, Mississippi, United States, located in the Mississippi Delta region. The name was derived from an old Indian tribe northeast of this region. The population was 1,952 at the 2010 census.[2]


On June 30, 1914, Jack Farmer, an African-American resident of Shaw, was being sought by a white posse for allegedly murdering Earl Chase, a white man, also a resident of Shaw. Two deaths took place during the intense search: Jennie Collins, an African-American woman thought to have assisted Farmer in his flight, and James Jolly, a member of the posse who was mistaken for Farmer in the darkness. Both were shot and killed as the posse swept through a local swamp where Farmer was believed to be hiding. Farmer was never located.[3]

Shaw gained national attention in 1971 when a group of local residents led by Andrew Hawkins sued the town for violating their Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection under the law. In Hawkins v. Town of Shaw, the residents claimed the town had discriminated against black neighborhoods in the way it distributed public services, noting that while 99 percent of homes occupied by whites had access to sewers, only 80 percent of black-occupied homes had sewer access. Water pressure was also lower in black neighborhoods. The Fifth Circuit Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and ordered Shaw to equalize access to public services such as fire hydrants, water mains, lighting, sewers and street paving. The ruling was considered a watershed civil rights victory, with some commentators comparing it to Brown v. Board of Education. However, the case did not encourage a wave of similar lawsuits in other jurisdictions.[4][5]


Shaw is almost entirely in Bolivar County, with a small portion extending east into adjacent Sunflower County.[6] In the 2000 census, all of the city's 2,313 residents lived in Bolivar County. Although no residents lived in the Sunflower County portion in 2000, that figure had risen to 1 by 2006.[7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.9 km2), all land.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

2020 census[edit]

Shaw Racial Composition[9]
Race Num. Perc.
White 51 3.5%
Black or African American 1,376 94.44%
Asian 8 0.55%
Other/Mixed 12 0.82%
Hispanic or Latino 10 0.69%

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 1,457 people, 737 households, and 548 families residing in the city.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 2,312 people, 753 households, and 573 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,082.8 inhabitants per square mile (804.2/km2). There were 785 housing units at an average density of 707.2 per square mile (273.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 7.31% White, 92.08% African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.09% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 0.22% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.99% of the population.

There were 753 households, out of which 37.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.5% were married couples living together, 37.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.9% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.07 and the average family size was 3.58.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 33.9% under the age of 18, 11.7% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 9.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females, there were 82.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $18,878, and the median income for a family was $19,393. Males had a median income of $21,181 versus $18,816 for females. The per capita income for the city was $9,070. About 41.3% of families and 41.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 53.5% of those under age 18 and 31.3% of those age 65 or over.


Most of Shaw is served by the West Bolivar Consolidated School District, while the small portion of the city that lies in Sunflower County is served by the Sunflower County School District.[11][12] McEvans Elementary School and Shaw High School (at one time together as McEvans Warriors K-12 School]]) are the schools in town; Shaw High School and McEvans Elementary School merged effective 2020.[13] As of 2024 they are separate institutions again.[14]

The Bolivar County part of Shaw was in the Shaw School District until July 1, 2014, when that district was consolidated into West Bolivar Consolidated.[15]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  2. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Shaw city, Mississippi". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  3. ^ Segrave, Kerry (2010). "Jennie Collins". Lynchings of Women in the United States: The Recorded Cases, 1851-1946. McFarland. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  4. ^ "School Ruling Is Seen Changing Nature of Cities.", Sarasota Herald-Tribune, pp. 4E, April 2, 1972
  5. ^ Troesken, Werner (2004). Water, Race and Disease. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ISBN 9780262201483.
  6. ^ American FactFinder Reference Map Archived 2007-03-11 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Subcounty population estimates: Mississippi 2000-2006". United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2007-06-28. Archived from the original (CSV) on 2007-11-26. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
  8. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  9. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved 2021-12-07.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  11. ^ "Sunflower County School District Reference Map." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on August 18, 2011.
  12. ^ "Shaw city, Mississippi[permanent dead link]." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on August 18, 2011.
  13. ^ "Shaw Renamed McEvans High School". Bolivar Bullet. 2020-05-20. Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  14. ^ "Home". West Bolivar Consolidated School District. Retrieved 2024-03-13.
  15. ^ "School District Consolidation in Mississippi Archived 2017-07-02 at the Wayback Machine." Mississippi Professional Educators. December 2016. Retrieved on July 2, 2017. Page 2 (PDF p. 3/6).