The Port Chicago 50

The Port Chicago 50

Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights

eBook - 2014
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An astonishing civil rights story from Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin. On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors who were at the docks, critically injuring off-duty men in their bunks, and shattering windows up to a mile away. On August 9th, 244 men refused to go back to work until unsafe and unfair conditions at the docks were addressed. When the dust settled, fifty were charged with mutiny, facing decades in jail and even execution. This is a fascinating story of the prejudice that faced black men and women in America's armed forces during World War II, and a nuanced look at those who gave their lives in service of a country where they lacked the most basic rights.
Publisher: 2014
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. New York : Roaring Brook Press, 2014. Requires OverDrive Read (file size: N/A KB) or Adobe Digital Editions (file size: 4992 KB) or Amazon Kindle (file size: N/A KB)
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc
ISBN: 9781596439832

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On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors who were at the docks, critically injuring off-duty men in their bunks, and shattering windows up to a mile away. On August 9th, 244 men refused to go back to work unti... Read More »


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The black sailors at Port Chicago, in San Francisco Bay, were doing the only job they could in the navy in 1944, loading ammunition and bombs onto ships bound for war. With no training or safety precautions, it is not surprising that there was a major explosion. The surprise came when 50 of the sailors refused to return to that work, and were convicted of mutiny. Before Rosa Parks, before Jackie Robinson, before Brown v. Board of Education, there was Port Chicago.

The black sailors at Port Chicago, in San Francisco Bay, were doing the only job they could in the navy in 1944, loading ammunition and bombs onto ships bound for war. With no training or safety precautions, it is not surprising that there was a major explosion. The surprise came when 50 of the sailors refused to return to that work, and were convicted of mutiny. Before Rosa Parks, before Jackie Robinson, before Brown v. Board of Education, there was Port Chicago.

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