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.
This book tells an interesting story that I had never heard of. I enjoyed the author’s use of actual testimony straight from the court case. It makes it feel like you are in the courtroom watching the case unfold. It’s so sad seeing how African Americans were treated in the military at this time. I hope that this book will be able to raise awareness of the case and verdict and that the men will be able to get a pardon so that their families will be able to have some vindication. The author includes extensive back matter citing the sources he used while writing the book. An interesting non-fiction read.