Between 1865 and 1915, more than 1200 Black settlements, enclaves, and towns were established in the United States, including 500 settlements with the physical elements and cultural institutions in a town format, and 50 to 60 Black towns legally incorporated in 19 states.
The first migration of African Americans after the Civil War took place when thousands of freed enslaved people left their former masters for freedom and autonomy. These All-Black towns, aka “Freedom Towns,” were municipalities established by or for a predominantly African American populace. Many of these municipalities were established or populated by freed formerly enslaved people either during or after the period of legal slavery in the United States in the 19th century. Some are still populated today.
- Brown, L. Deneen. 2005. “Black towns, established by freed slaves after the Civil War, are dying out.” The Washington Post.
- O’Dell, Larry. (n.d) “All-Black Towns.” Oklahoma Historical Society.
- Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance, Inc.
- “Rare 1920s Footage: All-Black Towns Living the American Dream,” National Geographic, YouTube video, 1:45, October 3, 2016.