According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 44.3 km² (17.1 mi²). 41.6 km² (16.1 mi²) of it is land and 2.7 km² (1.0 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 6.13% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 9,111 people, 3,068 households, and 2,347 families residing in the town. The population density is 218.9/km² (567.1/mi²). There are 3,385 housing units at an average density of 81.3/km² (210.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 44.17% White, 53.92% African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.60% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 1.98% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 3,068 households out of which 41.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% are married couples living together, 22.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 23.5% are non-families. 20.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.97 and the average family size is 3.45.
In the town the population is spread out with 32.2% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 31 years. For every 100 females there are 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 85.1 males.
The median income for a household in the town is $32,466, and the median income for a family is $40,191. Males have a median income of $33,297 versus $19,671 for females. The per capita income for the town is $13,373. 21.5% of the population and 18.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 30.8% are under the age of 18 and 15.0% are 65 or older.