Little-Known Outposts

The population of Weed – a town near the Oregon border – is nearly 10 percent black, greater than you might expect for rural Northern California. Here’s how that came to be. African-Americans had been living and working in the Golden State since the time of the Gold Rush, but in the 1920s lumber mill workers in the South were sent west by their companies to towns such as Weed, Dunsmuir, and Mount Shasta. Soon African-American communities in many lumber towns were not only established but thriving, even while dealing with the same issues of segregation and discrimination that afflicted the rest of the country. Director and producer Mark Oliver explores this unique moment in black history in his documentary From the Quarters to Lincoln Heights. The title refers to the change that Weed’s African-American residents instigated in the 1960s to rename their neighborhood, a journey described in the film by the people who were there at the time. Oliver is joined by the film’s co-producer James Langford, who in 1975 became the first African-American teacher hired at Weed Elementary School and brings his intimate knowledge of the black experience in that town.
Fri., June 24, 6 p.m., 2011

 
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