‘Black in Mayberry’ confronts race issues in El Segundo — then and now

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Violet Gonzales-Baird is featured in the documentary “Black in Mayberry.” She tells KCRW, “What I really want is for people to start understanding each other, and to listen, and to understand that there are real things going on in the world. And just because you don't acknowledge them, that doesn't mean that they're fake, or they're not really going on.” Photo courtesy of Tanya Taylor.

El Segundo has roughly 16,000 residents, and nearly three-fourths of them are white, according to the 2019 Census. It was once a sundown town, where signs made people of color know they were not welcome after dark, including those who worked within city limits. A new documentary called “Black in Mayberry” confronts the racist past and present of the city, through personal stories of more than a dozen Black residents.