Post-Civil War Black Communities (01:20)
The narrator introduces herself as a "keeper of memories;" she'll tell the story of African American settlers in Oklahoma.
African-American Westward Movement (02:13)
African-Americas migrated to Oklahoma as slaves of Native American tribes; as emancipated slaves during Reconstruction, and to escape oppression in the Deep South.
Black Communities in Oklahoma (02:35)
27 African-American towns were founded in Indian Territory between the 1850s-1920s. The homestead movement attracted cotton farmers; prosperity brought newcomers. Founded in 1905, Boley grew to a city.
Oklahoma Segregation (01:33)
With oil profits, many African-American farmers moved to Tulsa where they lived separately from whites by choice. With statehood, Jim Crow laws were passed—restricting black neighborhoods.
African-American Community Resilience (01:16)
Race riots destroyed Greenwood, Tulsa’s Black Wall Street. Determined to rebuild the neighborhood, residents went to Kansas for loans and building materials.
Downfall of African-American Towns (03:51)
By the mid-1920s, independent African-American communities had reached their peak in Oklahoma—but many died out when the Great Depression led to a mass exodus to cities.
Memories of Black Western Towns (02:02)
View 1920s footage of Oklahoma’s African-American communities of Boley, Wybark, Luther, Vernon and Rentiesville; today they are largely abandoned.
Credits: Black Communities after the Civil War (00:53)
Credits: Black Communities after the Civil War
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