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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
Country United States
State Mississippi
Counties Bolivar, Sunflower
 • Total 1.11 sq mi (2.88 km2)
 • Land 1.11 sq mi (2.88 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
131 ft (40 m)
 • Total 1,952
 • Density 1,513.93/sq mi (584.55/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 662
FIPS code 28-67000
GNIS feature ID 0677626

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.


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.

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 vs 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.


Shaw is almost entirely in Bolivar County, with a small portion extending east into adjacent Sunflower County. 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.

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
Census Pop.
1890 201
1900 422 110.0%
1910 871 106.4%
1920 1,375 57.9%
1930 1,612 17.2%
1940 1,669 3.5%
1950 1,892 13.4%
1960 2,062 9.0%
1970 2,513 21.9%
1980 2,461 −2.1%
1990 2,349 −4.6%
2000 2,312 −1.6%
2010 1,952 −15.6%
2020 1,457 −25.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Shaw Racial Composition
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.


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. McEvans Warriors K-12 School is the K-12 school in town; Shaw High School and McEvans Elementary School merged effective 2020.

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.

Notable people

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Shaw (Misisipi) para niños

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