Melissa Stuckey

Academic Historian

Melissa Stuckey is a member of the Department of History, University of Oregon. She received her Ph.D. in history from Yale University in 2008.  Her dissertation, “All Men Up”: Race, Rights, and Power in the All Black Town of Boley, Oklahoma, 1903-1939,” argued that Oklahoma’s all-black towns were critical to the political development of the state’s black migrants.  Although Oklahoma did not become the political utopia for African Americans, they used these towns to fight their 1910 disfranchisement.  These efforts led to important Supreme Court victories against discriminatory election laws in 1915 and 1939.  

Langston, Oklahoma (1890- )

Langston, Oklahoma is one of the few remaining all-black towns located in the former Oklahoma Territory.  The town, which opened for settlement on October 22, 1890, was named for John Mercer Langston, who took office as the first black Virginian to serve in the United … Read MoreLangston, Oklahoma (1890- )

John W. Blassingame (1940-2000)

Image Ownership: Public Domain John Wesley Blassingame was one of the preeminent scholars in the study of enslaved African Americans.  His early monographs The Slave Community (1972) and Black New Orleans, 1860-1880 (1973) shattered racist and stereotypical portrayals of African American life by using testimony … Read MoreJohn W. Blassingame (1940-2000)

Creek Seminole College (1906-1925?)

The Creek Seminole College was officially opened in 1906 in Boley, a black town in Creek Nation, Indian Territory (today Oklahoma).  The school’s founder and president was John C. Leftwich, a graduate of Selma University in Alabama.  Leftwich built the college on five acres of … Read MoreCreek Seminole College (1906-1925?)

Boley, Oklahoma (1903- )

In the early twentieth century Boley, Oklahoma was the largest predominantly black town in the United States.  Boley was officially opened for settlement in 1903 in Creek Nation, Indian Territory along the Fort Smith and Western Railroad.  The interracial group that founded Boley included Lake … Read MoreBoley, Oklahoma (1903- )

John C. Leftwich (1867-1923)

Image Ownership: Public Domain John Carter Leftwich was born on June 6, 1867 in Forkland, Alabama.  The first son of Frances Edge and Lloyd Leftwich, one of Alabama’s last black Reconstruction Era state senators, John graduated from Selma University in 1890.  As a young man, … Read MoreJohn C. Leftwich (1867-1923)