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Film tells story of Beloit's black residents

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Gazette staff
February 8, 2012
— Interested in learning more about the history of Beloit's black residents?

A free showing of the film, "Through Their Eyes: The History of African Americans in Beloit from 1836-1970" will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Hyatt Smith meeting room at UW-Rock County, 2909 Kellogg Ave.


The Diversity Action Team of Rock County is sponsoring the program.


The DVD chronicles social, economic and other aspects of the black men and women who lived, worked and played in Beloit.


The film emphasizes the decades when Fairbanks Morse recruited southern blacks to work at the company.


The company built segregated housing known as Fairbanks Flats in about 1917 to provide new workers a place to live.


Several residents who lived in the apartments on Shore Drive are interviewed in the film and talk about family life in the complex.


Among those featured is Walter Knight, who worked at Fairbanks Morse and became the first African American to serve on the Beloit City Council.


Knight and Barbara Hickman, both of Beloit, will facilitate the event. Hickman is the administrator of Equity and Human Resources in the Beloit School District.


In the film, she speaks about working in the school district and her first job as a new teacher.



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