SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma - Before statehood Oklahoma had a thriving network of all black towns.

Between the end of the Civil War and statehood, Oklahoma was marketed to African Americans as a fair and a fresh start. The land was available, come to Oklahoma Territory and prosper and many did. The Oklahoma Historical Society has an exhibit currently at the Sand Springs Historical Museum.

Historian Shirley Nero and Alicia Latimer from the Rudisill Regional Library helped us with a little perspective. “people were looking for a place to live where they could be free, where they could educate their children, “ Nero says. Oklahoma Territory offered the opportunity and some 20 towns and communities sprang up and were successful.

 

 

Statehood and the Jim Crow laws that followed ended the prosperity. The exhibit runs through the end of the month. Thursday the 14th there will be a presentation on Buffalo Soldiers.

Rudisill Regional Library leads a tour of Oklahoma Black Towns the second Saturday in June. Tickets for that go on sale May 1st.