Friday, April 8, 2011

Town of Boley - Negro Males Only Large Town In America

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A Town That Just Couldn't Become A City

Boley, OK. was established in 1904  (incorporated in 1905) and was, at the time, located in the Creek Nation of the Indian Territory. It is credited with becoming the largest and most long-lasting prominent Negro town in the United States. 

Boley was founded on September 22, 1904 by two Negro men, T. M. Haynes and James Barnett.  At its peak (1910),  it had two banks, two cotton gins, a newspaper, a hotel,  and a railroad stop.  It was also a town that was run entirely by Negro men   Its population peaked in 1911 to about 4000 (this number is likely over-estimated by about 2500).  It dropped steadily over the next 20 years, settling at about 1000 in the 1930s.  It has remained at about that number ever since.   As for why I am dedicating a blog to this small Negro town, it's because Boley serves as an excellent example of a town that should have, if white and black were indeed the same,  blossomed into a great and thriving Negro city (Negro males established no cities in America).  The best feature of the Negro town was the railroad, which was an enormous advantage for any marketable product.  

However, for reasons that must have remained a mystery to the Negro leaders of Boley, during the two Great Migration periods for blacks (1910 to 1930 &  1940 to 1970) ,  southern Negroes (males & females),  simply refused to make Boley their destination when they decided to leave their rural farms for other economic opportunities.

Oh , by comparison , in 1910 the city of Tulsa, OK , created and run entirely by white males, had a population of over 18,000 people.  About  4% (800 apprx.) of the city's population was black in 1910.  By 1920, the black population had swelled to over 9000.

Of further note, Boley, OK, declared bankruptcy in 1939.

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