The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights
Written by Steve Sheinkin
Describes the fifty black sailors who refused to work in unsafe and unfair conditions after an explosion in Port Chicago killed 320 servicemen, and how the incident influenced civil rights.
Primary Source Pairing:
In this historical look at the prejudice and injustice during World War II, readers are taken back to a time when not all people were treated equal. The book The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights has primary sources embedded throughout the chapters. Use the text with students and encourage them to do their own research using Sheinkin’s resource lists at the back of the book.
For this primary source pairing, an image of the men, most of whom look happy, is used. Let this image begin a conversation on the content of the book and the feelings these men had while following their orders from the US Navy.
Questions for Discussion:
- Describe what you see.
- What do you notice first?
- What people and objects are shown?
- How are they arranged?
- What is the physical setting?
- What other details can you see?
- How does this image connect with your learning while reading the book The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights?
Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Image of men at the Port: MacMillian
For more information and primary source images, visit the Port Chicago 50 page on the MacMillan website.