Jul. 18, 2020
Why Reparations? July 17,1944: The Port Chicago Explosion Seventy-Sixth Anniversary Of A Blackman's
My, Why Reparations series continues this morning on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the massive explosion that occurred on the docks at Port Chicago, California. If you don't know about this incident that ended the lives of 202 black sailors instantly at 10:18 PM. It behooves you to listen to my reading about the racist crime that was perpetrated on the black sailors that were on duty that night in July 1944. The actions were predicated on the premise that black sailors were the ones who were given the most menial duties. In this case in Port Chicago, those duties involved the highest degree of personal danger. The explosion was so horrendous, so cataclysmic, that it registered 3.4 on the Richter Scale. The 350 men who were near the explosion, 202 of them black were killed instantaneously. These black men were given no training in handling these dangerous munitions either before or after the explosion. The explosion leads to a group of black sailors, The Port Chicago 50 refusal to work unless the conditions were improved. These sailors were put on trial for mutiny and convicted by the Navy for simply fighting for the right of fairness. Listen to two articles that described the Port Chicago disaster from the seventieth anniversary in 2014.