On July 17, 1944 a deadly explosion at Port Chicago Naval Base in the Bay Area killed 320 servicemen. The vast majority of these servicemen were African American soldiers serving in segregated units with incomplete training. After the explosion, many of the surviving men protested the dangerous conditions and refused to load ammunition into the boats. Fifty men, known by history as the “Port Chicago 50,” were court martialed and charged with mutiny. To this day, only one of the Port Chicago 50 has been pardoned. This history is one example of the deep injustices in our nation’s past. To repair the damage done, we must start by addressing our painful legacy and making amends.
Posted by Barbara Lee on Friday, July 17, 2015