23rd Annual All-Black Town Tour Commemorates Juneteenth

Saturday, June 11th 2022, 9:37 pm
By: News On 6, Kaitlyn Deggs

TULSA, Oklahoma -

The Tulsa City-County Library is teaching tourists about the historic all-black towns of Oklahoma.

The library hosted its 23rd annual “All-Black Towns Tour” Saturday.

The “All-Black Towns Tour” made stops in Redbird, Tullahassee, and the Fort Gibson Historic Site.

Willa Buyckes, who was raised in Tullahassee, jumped at the chance to come back and visit.

“It was a beautiful town and I had a good upbringing, and good schools and everything, and teachers, and I just love where I was brought up,” said Buyckes.

Others from Tullahassee, like Margaret Kimble Love, talked about how tight-knit the community was.

“It was a family, that’s how I could explain it, it was a family,” said Love. “And we’ve all stayed together as the years went by.”

Organizers said they wanted to highlight the resilience of black communities throughout the state.

“That history is fascinating, knowing that, in a time where the odds were stacked against them, they were literally able to come together, build a community that was their own, something that they could be proud of,” said Larissa McNeil, the African American Resource Center Coordinator for the Tulsa City-County Library. “And knowing that some of these towns still exist is exciting and that legacy shouldn’t go away.”

Love hopes others will take tours of their own.

“I want the people to come and visit the all-black towns and see what their history holds,” said Love. “Learn who started this town, what happened, and it just kind of gives you a good feeling when you know where you come from.”

McNeil says they usually host the “All-Black Towns Tour” on the 2nd Saturday of June each year.