Races: War in Little Egypt

Violence is no stranger to Cairo (rhymes with Pharaoh), Ill., a decaying former riverboat port at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Below the Mason-Dixon Line and closer to Little Rock than Chicago in attitude as well as mileage, the capital of the state's "Little Egypt" section is a thoroughly Southern town. Its 4,000 white citizens are determined to maintain the local system of apartheid over the town's 4,000 blacks that has persisted since before the Civil War.

White Cairoites responded with cross burnings and shotgun blasts when blacks attempted...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!