One of Oklahoma’s historic all black towns keeps it memories alive with an annual reunion.

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CLEARVIEW, OKLAHOMA -- You and I might see an abandoned building, an old foundation.

People like Shirley Nero see them as the stores she used to run through as a kid.

The Bush Brothers ran three of them in Clearview back when this all black town had a thousand people living here.

There was a post office, a movie theater and railroad station established by that all American dream of seeking freedom and new beginnings.

Nero points out, "You could live together and be free of the prejudices they had experienced in the South."

Shirley and her sister Marilyn Jackson ran through every house like they owned them, through school, and businesses too.

Their mother's side came from Texas to escape prejudice, their father's side from Arkansas to escape poverty.

They found a strong community here.

"I just remember you could run into anyone's house without knocking," says Jackson. "Doors were unlocked and you felt safe."

Merguerite Bush French recalls that vibrant town, when J.E. Thompson ran the brick factory and you could take a train to Weleetka every day.

She raised 18 kids here and was always happy to stay.

"Yes," says Merguerite. "I liked it."

The old school gymnasium, built by the WPA during the Depression still stands.

Not much else does.

A summer tangle of vines and briars works to pull everything else down but the memories.

Last year Shirley organized a town reunion based on the ones her family had for years.

One one weekend each June a unique town comes alive again to remember what stood here, a place that continues to inform what they stand for now.

Nero says, "The buildings may be gone but we have to use our imaginations through our stories."

Shirley Nero conducts tours of Oklahoma's historic all black towns.

The Clearview Reunion takes place June 16 and 17, 2017.

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