New Albany, the “Fair and Friendly City,”is the county seat of Union County, in the northeast corner of the State of Mississippi. Historically, New Albany was a railroad and manufacturing town, and the manufacturing industry continues to play a large role in the community’s economy. In 1960, Union County had a population of nearly 20,000 residents, 82.5% of which were white. Today Union County has a population of more than 25,000 residents, of which are 83% white, and 15% African American. New Albany has a population of nearly 8,000, and its residents are approximately 75% white, and 12% African American.
The area’s African American community was and is demographically small compared to other parts of the state. Perhaps for this reason, neither New Albany nor Union County experienced the same degree of recurrent violence that visited other Mississippi towns during the Civil Rights era. This should not suggest that the community experienced no violence. In 1925, an African American teenager named L.Q. Ivy was lynched and burned by a mob of Union and Lee County residents who accused him of assaulting a white girl. The event is the only such recorded lynching in Union County, and there are no recorded acts of this kind of violence after 1925.
City of New Albany, Miss., Our History, http://www.visitnewalbany.com/history.asp (last visited Apr. 7, 2007).
Census Shows Union County Population Is Up, NEW ALBANY GAZETTE, Feb. 4, 1971, at 1.
U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, New Albany, Miss., Fact Sheet, http://factfinder.census.gov (last visisted Apr. 7, 2007).
The History of Jim Crow, Teacher Resources, http://www.jimcrowhistory.org/resources/lessonplans.htm (last visited April 7, 2007).