Rare Footage Shows All-Black Towns in 1920s America | NowThis


This rare video shows what life was like in totally black cities during the 1920s.
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In the US news UU. And today's events, this rare video shows life in totally black communities in the 1920s during an era of fierce racial tension.

Reverend Solomon Sir Jones was the son of former slaves. He moved to Oklahoma in 1889 and became an influential Baptist minister. Jones was also an amateur filmmaker in the early days of making films.

Over the course of 4 years, he filmed 355 minutes of footage in more than 50 completely black communities throughout Oklahoma. It also documents your trips to other states and abroad. Jones' films capture vibrant black communities that thrive at a time when racist violence and segregation prevailed in many areas across the country.

Oklahoma came to have the largest number of totally black communities in the more than 60 years after the Civil War. In these cities, African Americans started their own businesses, many doctors, lawyers and black families prospered.

Some Oklahoma whites tried to block or slow the growth of totally black cities by imposing "oaths" that limited the hiring of black workers or refused to rent or sell land to a black person. In 1921, the "Black Wall Street" neighborhood of Tulsa was decimated during an incident of white mafia violence. Dozens of black residents were killed and hundreds more were injured in what became known as the Tulsa massacre.

For decades, the incident was barely taught, if it did, in schools. The totally black communities in the state entered a period of decline during the Great Depression.

Today, Jones' images are considered the best documentation of what life was like in the black communities of the time. The films show unique, culturally rich peoples, full of mutually supportive communities despite an often racist society around them.

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Rare Footage Shows All-Black Towns in 1920s America | NowThis

Comments 42

  1. The Tulsa Race Riots. Definitely didn't learn about these in public school. I first heard bout them in a university course about Native American Studies.

  2. Just a friendly reminder that 100 years ago was not that long ago. Some of those white people who was involved in terrorizing black people are still alive today. & those same ideas and views white people had back then for black people were passed down………… can't sweep history under the rug……… 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

  3. Check out the towns in Alberta started by free slaves. They got told not to go it's cold and blah blah blah. We have I think seven towns that got started by them. A lot of albertans don't know that part of history. The more you know ⭐️⭐️

  4. Brilliant video.

    They were just living their life's and not even thinking about hurting or killing another nation of people, but that's all the white man was thinking about, not much as changed in that regard I see.

    And thanks again for the video.

  5. With all the respect, back when black people were well educated and managed to have a better future than what we see now.. Pants dragging, using N words and depending on food stamps.

  6. When racist individuals ask a racist question why can’t a black community thrive, answer them remember what you’re racist ancestors did to Tulsa, and ask the race individuals why are you against a black community to thrive?

  7. Get over ur self lady u won’t walk done a black neighborhood at midnight so don’t pull that card all people r raciest in some form.

  8. Ive never hated anyone for the color of their skin … but these last couple of years ive started hating people like trump.. people that look like trump …white people.
    I dont hide it either… at work or in public… everyone is ok with it because im latino… and im sorry to all the good white people … i know white people fought to free slaves but the other half fought to keep them

  9. Bring back these thriving black communities.!!!
    Where business was booming and black owned also many people because doctors dentist and lawyers.
    I don't see this as a negative result, I get some will but considering the times back then I'm sure people felt safer also they were thriving once and shall again.

    We are all people I don't see color and if this would help black people I would be all for this once the people are of course. 👍🏻

    Films like this gives me mixed feelings though but I would support this. 💯

  10. Somewhere there is a triggered racist white guy in his 50s on Twitter complaining about boostraps or Harvards acceptance policies or something. His family probably killed these people.

  11. They murdered the people imprisoned their children and then talk about why can't they just pull themselves up by their boot straps

  12. Oh Lord, there are tapes!! Live footage to prove people wrong about some of the injustices that have been committed to AA communities

  13. And one riot of racism is all the difference between the stereotypes of today and the potential of what could have been for black ppl back then. Sad

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