Host Jeremy C. Park talks with author and storyteller, CJ Kirkland, who highlights her new book, SELF MADE: Boley, Oklahoma, which is a collaborative effort with the nonprofit, Project 2020, focused on rebuilding and the revitalization of Boley, Oklahoma. Founded in 1903 on land gifted to its first settlers by Creek Freedwoman Abigail Barnett McCormick, Boley was the largest of more than fifty all-Black towns established in Oklahoma. Against overwhelming odds, it remains today one of only thirteen all-Black towns still existent in the state. Since its inception, this town of less than two square miles has been home to some of the world’s most imaginative and ambitious entrepreneurs, civic leaders, educators, athletes, and agricultural innovators, whose efforts have been internationally recognized.
During the interview, CJ shares the story of how she was introduced to Boley and where the idea for the book began, she spotlights some of the individuals featured in the book, and talks about some of the important takeaways and lessons learned. She also discusses the importance of Boley in Black History today and how Project 2020 is helping to rebuild and revitalize the community for the future ahead. CJ also notes that 100% of the profits from the book support Project 2020 and the Boley, Oklahoma community. Visit www.thetownofboley.org to learn more and purchase the book.