Cymone Davis: Building a Black Boarding School in Oklahoma’s Oldest Historic Black Town

December 17, 2020

Cymone Davis is

in the throes of building a black boarding school in the oldest all-black town in Oklahoma. That town is called Tullahassee, and Cymone also happens to be the City Manager there. She wears a lot of hats, and she’s still working out how to condense all of her roles into a single title. She’s a City Manager, an Educator and a Changemaker. In these roles, Cymone focuses on taking creative action to solve problems and implementing freedom strategies.

The dream to create an all-black boarding school came from a vision she had in November of 2018. Fast forward to March of 2019 when Cymone stumbled upon a PBS documentary called Struggle & Hope about the all black towns of Oklahoma. She was living in Kansas City, but the documentary inspired her to reach out to the Mayor of Tullahassee and plan a research trip to Oklahoma to learn more about the town of Tullahassee, her ancestry in Muscogee and the church in Tulsa she had been following online, Transformation Church.

The research trip to Tullahassee produced many meaningful connections for Cymone along with a relationship with the Mayor of Tullahassee, who insisted Cymone build her boarding school in their historic town.

Cymone joined the Tulsa Remote program in June 2020 and was soon hired as the City Manager of Tullahassee, where she has had the chance to become a part of the community that she is so passionate about. Her goal is to create a sustainable economic system that enables the town to not just survive but thrive.

You can follow along Cymone’s journey of building an all-black boarding school in the documentary series below.

Q + A with Cymone

What do you feel have been your biggest wins so far?

Definitely stepping out on faith in 2020. I’m a spiritual person and I feel led on this journey to not only start this school but to help the first, historic all-black town rebuild. Both personally and professionally (AND in the middle of a pandemic), life got real in 2020. My priorities shifted. I had to let some things go so I could pick up purpose.

What are you most looking forward to in the next year?

Talking about Tullahassee. Sharing details about the school and how the public can get involved. 2021 will be a year of remembrance (1921 Tulsa Race Massacre), mobility, and forward thinking.

When you have free time, how do you like to spend it?

Thinking . I like nature walks, baths, reading, music, etc. I also love quality time with my family and friends.

What are your favorite Tulsa spots?

Sadly, I arrived during a pandemic. There aren’t many spots I visit outside of Reasor’s and Target. But I do like Wanda J’s, Black Wall Street Liquid Lounge, and Notion.

To learn more about the school and what you can do to help, visit the New School Revolution website.