Indianola, Mississippi

Last updated
Indianola, Mississippi
Sunflower County Courthouse (cropped).jpg
Sunflower County Courthouse
Sunflower County Mississippi Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Indianola Highlighted.svg
Location of Indianola, Mississippi
Usa edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Indianola, Mississippi
Location in the contiguous United States
Coordinates: 33°27′10.4″N90°39′03.7″W / 33.452889°N 90.651028°W / 33.452889; -90.651028 Coordinates: 33°27′10.4″N90°39′03.7″W / 33.452889°N 90.651028°W / 33.452889; -90.651028
Country United States
State Mississippi
County Sunflower
Area
[1]
  Total8.66 sq mi (22.42 km2)
  Land8.57 sq mi (22.20 km2)
  Water0.09 sq mi (0.23 km2)
Population
 (2020)
  Total9,646
  Density1,125.42/sq mi (434.53/km2)
ZIP codes
38751
FIPS code 28-34740
Website www.indianola.ms.gov

Indianola is a U.S. city in Sunflower County, Mississippi, in the Mississippi Delta. The population was 10,683 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Sunflower County. [2]

Contents

History

In 1891, Minnie M. Cox was appointed postmaster of Indianola, becoming the first black female postmaster in the United States. Her rank was raised from fourth class to third class in 1900, and she was appointed to a full four-year term. Cox's position was one of the most respected and lucrative public posts in Indianola, as it served approximately 3,000 patrons and paid $1,100 annually, then a large sum. White resentment to Cox's prestigious position began to grow, and in 1902 some white residents in Indianola drew up a petition requesting Cox's resignation. James K. Vardaman, editor of The Greenwood Commonwealth and a white supremacist, began delivering speeches reproaching the people of Indianola for "tolerating a negro [sic] wench as a postmaster." [3]

Racial tensions grew, and threats of physical harm led Cox to submit her resignation to take effect on January 1, 1903. The incident attracted national attention, and President Theodore Roosevelt refused to accept her resignation, feeling Cox had been wronged, and the authority of the federal government was being compromised. "Roosevelt stood resolute. Unless Cox's detractors could prove a reason for her dismissal other than the color of her skin, she would remain the Indianola postmistress." [4]

Roosevelt closed Indianola's post office on January 2, 1903, and rerouted mail to Greenville; Cox continued to receive her salary. The same month, the United States Senate debated the Indianola postal event for four hours, and Cox left Indianola for her own safety and did not return. In February 1904, the post office was reopened but was demoted in rank from third class to fourth class. [5]

In July 1954, two months after the Supreme Court of the United States announced its unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education, ruling that school segregation was unconstitutional, the local plantation manager Robert B. Patterson met with a group of like-minded people in a private home in Indianola to form the White Citizens' Council. [6]

Geography

Indianola is 30 miles (48 km) west of Greenwood. [7]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1890 249
1900 630153.0%
1910 1,09874.3%
1920 2,11292.3%
1930 3,11647.5%
1940 3,60415.7%
1950 4,36921.2%
1960 6,71453.7%
1970 8,94733.3%
1980 8,050−10.0%
1990 11,80946.7%
2000 12,0662.2%
2010 10,683−11.5%
2020 9,646−9.7%
U.S. Decennial Census [8]

2020 census

Indianola Racial Composition [9]
RaceNum.Perc.
White 1,52015.76%
Black or African American 7,75480.39%
Native American 50.05%
Asian 710.74%
Other/Mixed 1551.61%
Hispanic or Latino 1411.46%

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 9,646 people, 3,483 households, and 2,209 families residing in the city.

2000 census

As of the census [10] of 2000, there were 12,066 people, 3,899 households, and 2,982 families living in the city. The population density was 1,400.3 people per square mile (540.5/km2). There were 4,118 housing units at an average density of 477.9 per square mile (184.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 25.73% White, 73.38% African American, 0.01% Native American, 0.46% Asian American, 0.16% from other races, and 0.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.71% of the population.

1990 census

As of the census of 1990, there were 11,809 people. The racial makeup of the city was 65.69% (7,757) Black or African American, 33.39% (3,943) White, 0.14% (17) Native American, 0.19% (23) Asian American, and 0.03% (4) from other races. 0.55% (65) were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Economy

Because Indianola is located at the intersection of U.S. Route 49W and U.S. Route 82, as of 2004 it is one of the last economically viable small towns in the Mississippi Delta. In the 1980s and 1990s the city government convinced a major retailer to build a distribution center near the intersection of the two highways. This development infused cash into the local economy and allowed semiskilled jobs to be established. [11]

In August 2011, Delta Pride, a catfish processing company, closed its plant in Indianola. [12]

Culture

Club Ebony in Indianola Club Ebony.jpg
Club Ebony in Indianola
B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center BB King Museum.JPG
B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center

J. Todd Moye, author of Let the People Decide: Black Freedom and White Resistance Movements in Sunflower County, Mississippi, 1945–1986 , said that "Life in Indianola still moves at a pace established by its distinguishing characteristic, the picturesque and languid Indian Bayou that winds through downtown." [11]

Blues

Indianola is the birthplace of the blues musician Albert King. The blues harp player, Little Arthur Duncan, was born in Indianola in 1934. [13]

B.B. King grew up in Indianola as a child. He came to the blues festival named after him every year. King referenced the city with the title of his 1970 album Indianola Mississippi Seeds . The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, a $14 million facility dedicated to King and the blues, opened in September 2008. [14]

Education

The Sunflower County Consolidated School District, headquartered in Indianola, operates public schools serving the city. Residents are zoned to Lockard Elementary School (K-2), Carver Elementary School (3-6), Robert L. Merritt Junior High School (7-9), and Gentry High School (10-12). The district operates two other 10-12 schools in the city, Indianola Career and Technical Center and Indianola Academic Achievement Academy. [15]

Indianola Academy, a private school and former segregation academy, is in Indianola. As of 2012 most white teenagers in Indianola attend Indianola Academy instead of the public high schools. Sarah Carr of The Atlantic explained that there are two explanations of why the private academies in Indianola and other towns still exist. One says that the public schools suffered from poor leadership and wrongdoing and that the private academies thrive because of the failings of the public schools, and the other says that the white leadership starved the public schools of resources after the academies were enacted, leading to the failings of the public schools. [16]

The Sunflower County Library operates the Henry M. Seymour Library in Indianola, which houses its administrative headquarters. [17]

History of education

Prior to the school district merger, the Sunflower County School District had its headquarters in the Sunflower County Courthouse in Indianola. [18] [19] The district's educational services building is along U.S. Route 49 West in Indianola. [20]

As of 1996, 90 per cent of students in the Indianola School District were black. Most of the white students who attend Indianola public schools transfer to private schools by junior high school. [21]

Government and infrastructure

Indianola Post Office IndianolaPostOfficeMS (cropped).jpg
Indianola Post Office

The Mississippi Department of Corrections operates a probation and parole office in the Courthouse Annex in Indianola. [22]

The United States Postal Service operates the Indianola Post Office. [23] A mural, entitled White Gold in the Delta by WPA Section of Painting and Sculpture artist Beulah Bettersworth, was installed in the post office in 1939. It depicted cotton harvesting scenes. Murals were produced from 1934 to 1943 in the United States through the Section of Painting and Sculpture, later called the Section of Fine Arts, of the U.S. Treasury Department. The original artist Walter Anderson was unable to complete the mural, and Bettersworth was selected. The mural was eventually destroyed. In 2008, the building was named the Minnie Cox Post Office Building by an act of Congress. [24]

Notable people

Transportation

Indianola Municipal Airport is located in unincorporated Sunflower County, near Indianola. [26] and operated by the city. [27]

Media

The Enterprise-Tocsin has its offices in Indianola. [28]

In the media

Climate

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Indianola has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. [32]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sunflower County, Mississippi</span> County in Mississippi, United States

Sunflower County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 29,450. Its largest city and county seat is Indianola.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Quitman County, Mississippi</span> County in Mississippi, United States

Quitman County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2020 census, the population was 6,176, making it the third-least populous county in Mississippi. Its county seat is Marks. The county is named after John A. Quitman, Governor of Mississippi from 1835 to 1836 and from 1850 to 1851.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Humphreys County, Mississippi</span> County in Mississippi, United States

Humphreys County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2020 census, the population was 7,785. Its county seat is Belzoni. The county is named for Benjamin G. Humphreys. Humphreys County is Mississippi's newest county, having been formed in 1918. Humphreys County is located in the Mississippi Delta region.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Clarksdale, Mississippi</span> City in Mississippi, United States

Clarksdale is a city in and the county seat of Coahoma County, Mississippi, United States. It is located along the Sunflower River. Clarksdale is named after John Clark, a settler who founded the city in the mid-19th century when he established a timber mill and business.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Itta Bena, Mississippi</span> City in Mississippi, United States

Itta Bena is a city in Leflore County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 2,049 at the 2010 census. The town's name is derived from the Choctaw phrase iti bina, meaning "forest camp". Itta Bena is part of the Greenwood, Mississippi micropolitan area. It developed as a trading center of an area of cotton plantations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Drew, Mississippi</span> City in Mississippi, United States

Drew is a city in Sunflower County, Mississippi. The population was 1,927 at the 2010 census. Drew is in the vicinity of several plantations and the Mississippi State Penitentiary, a Mississippi Department of Corrections prison for men. It is noted for several racist murders, including the lynching of Emmett Till in 1955.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Inverness, Mississippi</span> Town in Mississippi, United States

Inverness is a town in Sunflower County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 1,019 at the 2010 census. As the town had the largest cotton gin in the Delta, it served as a gathering place for farmers from the region when they brought their cotton for processing. The town was heavily damaged by a tornado in 1971.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Moorhead, Mississippi</span> City in Mississippi, United States

Moorhead is a city in Sunflower County, Mississippi, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 2,405.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tutwiler, Mississippi</span> Town in Mississippi, United States

Tutwiler is a town in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, United States. The population at the 2010 census was 3,550.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ruleville, Mississippi</span> City in Mississippi, United States

Ruleville is a city in Sunflower County, Mississippi, United States, in the Mississippi Delta region. The population was 3,007 at the 2010 census. It is the second-largest community in the rural county.

The Sunflower County Consolidated School District (SCCSD), formerly the Sunflower County School District (SCSD), is a public school district with its headquarters in Indianola, Mississippi in the Mississippi Delta. The district serves all of Sunflower County.

The Drew School District was a public school district based in Drew, Mississippi. The school district's attendance boundary included Drew, Rome, and the employee residences of the Mississippi State Penitentiary (Parchman), located in an unincorporated area. In July 2014, it was merged into the Sunflower County Consolidated School District.

The Indianola School District is a former public school district based in Indianola, Mississippi (USA). In July 2014, it was merged into the Sunflower County Consolidated School District.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Indianola Academy</span> Private school

The Indianola Academy is a K-12 private school in Indianola, Mississippi founded as a segregation academy. Indianola Academy comprises an elementary school, a middle school, and a college preparatory high school. Indianola Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution. As of 2012 most white teenagers in Indianola attend Indianola Academy instead of the public high schools.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">North Sunflower Academy</span> Private school in Mississippi, U.S.

North Sunflower Academy is a private school, founded to provide a segregated education for white students in unincorporated Sunflower County, Mississippi, in the Mississippi Delta area, between Ruleville and Drew. The school has grades Kindergarten through 12. As of 2002, the school draws students from Doddsville, Drew, Merigold, Ruleville, Schlater, Tutwiler, and Webb.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Central Delta Academy</span> Private school in the United States

Central Delta Academy (CDA) was a private elementary and middle school in Inverness, Mississippi, that operated from 1969 to 2010. It was founded as a segregation academy by white parents fleeing newly integrated public schools. The school closed on May 21, 2010; its building was auctioned off several weeks later.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Education segregation in the Mississippi Delta</span>

The Mississippi Delta region has had the most segregated schools -- and for the longest time—of any part of the United States. As recently as the 2016–2017 school year, East Side High School in Cleveland, Mississippi, was practically all black: 359 of 360 students were African-American.

Thomas E. Edwards, Sr. High School, formerly Ruleville Central High School (RCHS), is a public high school located in Ruleville, Mississippi, United States. It is a part of the Sunflower County Consolidated School District and had 381 students enrolled in Nov. 2012.

Drew High School was a public high school located in Drew, Mississippi. It was a part of the Drew School District. The school district's attendance boundary included Drew, Rome, and the employee residences of the Mississippi State Penitentiary (Parchman), located in an unincorporated area. It served grades 9 through 12 and later grades 8 through 12.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Minnie M. Cox</span> African-American teacher and postmaster

Minnie M. (Geddings) Cox (1869–1933) was an American teacher who was appointed the first Black postmaster in Mississippi, following closely behind Anna M. Dumas, who was appointed to the same position in 1872 in Covington, Louisiana. Though she made national headlines after President Theodore Roosevelt refused to release her from her position after threats of violence from whites in Indianola, Cox was dedicated to equal rights in Mississippi. Responding to the disparities in resources available to Black citizens for banking and insurance, she opened her own bank and insurance companies to protect their assets.

References

  1. "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. Deanna Boyd and Kendra Chen. "Minnie M. Cox: A Postmaster's Story". The History and Experience of African Americans in America's Postal Service. Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Archived from the original on 2016-04-20. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
  4. Williams, Horace Randall and Ben Beard (2009). This Day in Civil Rights History. New South Books. p. 49.
  5. "Minnie Cox: A First for Mississippi". African American Registry. Archived from the original on 2012-02-07.
  6. Roberts, Gene and Hank Klibanoff (2006). The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation . New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 66. ISBN   0-679-40381-7.
  7. Rubin, Richard. "Should the Mississippi Files Have Been Re-opened? No, because." The New York Times . August 30, 1998. Retrieved on March 25, 2012.
  8. "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  9. "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved 2021-12-06.
  10. "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  11. 1 2 Moye, J. Todd. Let the People Decide: Black Freedom and White Resistance Movements in Sunflower County, Mississippi, 1945–1986 . University of North Carolina Press, November 29, 2004. 28. Retrieved from Google Books on February 26, 2012. ISBN   0-8078-5561-8, ISBN   978-0-8078-5561-4.
  12. Parham, Wayne. "Delta Pride closes its Indianola catfish plant [ permanent dead link ]." The Enterprise-Tocsin . Retrieved on August 16, 2011.
  13. Jason Ankeny. "Little Arthur Duncan". AllMusic . Retrieved December 14, 2011.
  14. Havighurst, Craig (October 16, 2008). "B.B. King's Hometown Museum". The Wall Street Journal .
  15. "Schools Archived 2011-07-23 at the Wayback Machine ." Indianola School District. Retrieved on August 17, 2010.
  16. Carr, Sarah. "In Southern Towns, 'Segregation Academies' Are Still Going Strong." The Atlantic . December 13, 2012. Retrieved on March 29, 2013.
  17. "Sunflower County Library Directory." Sunflower County Library. Retrieved on July 21, 2010.
  18. Home page. Sunflower County School District. Retrieved on August 17, 2010. "200 Main Street / Courthouse Indianola, Mississippi 38751"
  19. "Demographics for Sunflower County Schools Archived 2012-03-09 at the Wayback Machine ." Sunflower County School District. Retrieved on August 17, 2010.
  20. "Educational Services Building Archived 2012-03-09 at the Wayback Machine ." Sunflower County School District. Retrieved on August 17, 2010.
  21. Sanchez, Rene. "Academies Are Final Bastions Of Separateness Series: IN SEARCH OF THE SOUTH; SURVIVORS OF THE SIXTIES Series Number: 4/6." The Washington Post . July 17, 1996. A01. Retrieved on August 17, 2010. "There are five public schools. Nearly nine of 10 students enrolled in them are black. And the small number of whites who do send their children to public schools usually switch to the academy once they reach junior high."
  22. "Sunflower County." Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on September 14, 2010.
  23. "Post Office Location - INDIANOLA Archived 2012-06-16 at the Wayback Machine ." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on September 14, 2010.
  24. "Minnie Cox Post Office Building". Congressional Record — House, July 14, 2008, H6418.
  25. Colin Larkin, ed. (1995). The Guinness Who's Who of Blues (Second ed.). Guinness Publishing. pp. 274/5. ISBN   0-85112-673-1.
  26. FAA Airport Form 5010 for IDL PDF - Retrieved on September 23, 2010.
  27. "Poplarville, Hattiesburg among airports receiving grants Archived 2012-02-28 at the Wayback Machine ." WDAM. March 12, 2010. Retrieved on September 23, 2010.
  28. "about us." (Archive) The Enterprise-Tocsin . Retrieved on March 4, 2011. "Our office is located at 114 Main St, Indianola."
  29. "Mississippi Delta High School Students Set World Record For Largest Comic Strip". Markpett.com. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  30. Copperman, Michael (2016). Teacher: Two years in the Mississippi Delta. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press. ISBN   978-1-4968-1854-6.
  31. "On being half-Asian in the Mississippi Delta". Scalawag. June 8, 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  32. "Indianola, Mississippi Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase. Retrieved 24 May 2018.