My family and I are from a town called Paden. It’s of similar size and right next door to Boley, OK.
My grandmother and grandfather worked at the prison in Boley for twenty years. I found out the brilliant history of Boley while doing research in the area for a personal project on my family.
When I mentioned my curiosity about Boley to my family and those (mostly white people) in the surrounding area, I was met immediately with, “oh that place!” “It's dangerous don’t go there.” Which couldn't be further from the truth.
People outside of Boley have so many preconceived ideas about a place they know next to nothing about simply because it is unfamiliar to them.
“I See You Boley” is a story on Boley America showing the everyday life of the people who make up the community with a nuanced reflection of it’s history.
“Welcome to Boley. We don’t gotta grocery store. We don’t gotta school. But we gotta prison,” - Hillary Dixon
Boley is one of thirteen remaining pioneered all black towns in Oklahoma. At one point there were fifty, but most of them have all but disappeared.
Once one of the wealthiest all black towns in America, since losing its school and nearly all of its businesses Boley is in danger of disappearing too.