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African Americans in Oklahoma

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Michael G.
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  1. Introduction
  2. The two founders: Lake Moore and W.H. Boley
  3. Prominent all black towns in Oklahoma
  4. Segregation and Langston University
  5. The town of Clearview
  6. Conclusion
  7. Bibliography

The ?All-Black towns? of Oklahoma represent a unique segment of American history. Neither in the deep south nor the far west did so many African Americans come together to create and govern their own communities. Between 1865 and 1920, African Americans had established over 50 towns in the area, a good portion of which still exist today. They settled here in large numbers to escape many of the harsh prejudices found in other areas such as the Deep South, and in these communities they could rely on each other for financial assistance and friendship. However, white resentment of the black race soon began to impact these towns, and thus we get migrations of African Americans to western Canada, Mexico, and even ?Back to Africa? movements.

[...] Dunn, Brandi, Reynolds, Shanell, and Spencer, Cora, An Unofficial History of Boley, Oklahoma 4. Franklin, Buck Colbert, My Life and an Era: The Autobiography (Louisiana State University Press, February 1998) 5. Patterson, Zella J. Black, with Wert, Lynette L., Langston University: A History, vol. I (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1979) 6. Tolson, Arthur L., The Black Oklahomans: A History, 1541-1972 (New Orleans: Edwards Printing Company, 1974) Arthur L. Tolson, The Black Oklahomans: A History, 1541-1972 (New Orleans: Edwards Printing Company, 1974) Norman L. [...]


[...] Thompson, a graduate in pharmacy at Meharry Medical College, in charge.[11] Many other All-Black towns existed within Oklahoma during the years between and around 1890-1910, such as Arcadia, Bluff, Brooksville, Grayson, IXL, Lima, Summit, Tatums, and Vernon. The essence of the All-Black Oklahoma town was clear in B.C. Franklin's words cited before. The towns were a sort of home for African Americans, during a period of bitter racial disputes and strict segregation laws. However poor, the Black citizens of these towns were happy, because they were in an atmosphere of acceptance. [...]

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