“Welcome to Boley. We don’t gotta grocery store. We don’t gotta school. But we gotta prison.”
My grandmother, who lives next door to Boley, worked at the prison in Boley for fourty years. It's how I discovered its history.
Boley is one of the last remaining, predominantly black pioneer towns in Oklahoma. Once one of the wealthiest all black towns in America it's been on a steady decline since losing its school and nearly all of its businesses, hanging on by a thread.
Some of the remaining residents blame drugs for Boley's steady decline. Others blame lack of jobs, mishandling of funds or a lack of community.
Yet, there are people who try to make Boley the beautiful town it once was, ignoring the skepticism of others.
This project attempts to highlight prominent characters in the community, the beauty in a small forgotten town that refuses to give up and the inevitable economic outcome of a place where the last generation moves out and the oldest pass on.
This project is unpublished & ongoing