The Port Chicago 50: Racism and Review
Presented on February 27, 2023
at the Phillip Burton Federal Building & United States Courthouse
San Francisco, California
During WWII, Black sailors stationed at Port Chicago, CA, were required to load munitions on ships with inadequate training and under supervision that stressed speed over safety. On July 17, 1944, cataclysmic explosions instantly killed 320 men (2⁄3 of them African American) and injured hundreds more. Unsafe conditions inspired hundreds of Black servicemen to refuse to load munitions, an act known as the Port Chicago Mutiny. Fifty men—called the “Port Chicago 50″—received convictions from that Mutiny Trial that changed their lives.
Join us for a reenactment of part of the Mutiny Trial followed by a discussion exploring how this event, witnessed by Thurgood Marshall, became a catalyst of the modern civil rights movement, and about the ongoing efforts to seek the exoneration of the Port Chicago 50.