Segments in this Video

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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Black Communities after the Civil War

DVD Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



In this program, historians trace the westward migration of former slaves to Oklahoma after the Civil War, where they built many thriving towns—and their subsequent exodus to Tulsa. The primary focus is on the towns of Clearview and Boley, where blacks operated thriving cotton-growing operations until 1907, when the most restrictive Jim Crow laws in American history were passed. As Ku Klux Klan activity intensified and the economy bottomed out in the 1920s, many blacks—once successful farmers and business owners—headed for Tulsa, where ghettos quickly sprang up. (17 minutes)

Length: 16 minutes

Item#: BVL8346

ISBN: 978-1-4213-3023-5

Copyright date: ©1997

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Only available in USA and Canada.