Archive for the 'African American history' Category

Jul 30

Racism, Mutiny, and Exoneration-The Port Chicago Disaster

Tuesday, July 30, 2019 11:53 AM

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The date is 17 July 1944. It’s nearing half past 10 PM, and the 24-hour cycle of munitions and cargo loading at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine, California is in full swing. Two merchant ships, the SS Quinault Victory and the SS E.A. Bryan, sit at the pier. The SS Quinault Victory is empty, the SS E.A. Bryan holds over 4,000 tons of ammunition, and sixteen railcars sitting on the pier contain 429 tons of ammunition. Hundreds of cargo handlers, munitions handlers, crewmen, and officers swarm the area, working tirelessly to load the two vessels with explosives, bombs, depth charges,… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 26

A Short History on Segregation in the Navy: From the War of 1812 through World War II

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 12:01 AM

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Alright, everyone, today I’m going to take you on a shallow dive into a topic that’s tough for a lot of people to talk about for a lot of different reasons: racial segregation. Specifically, the history of racial segregation in the Navy through World War II. It’s never fun, but it is a very important part of our history, and something that we need to examine no matter how uncomfortable it can make us feel. The history of Black sailors in the Navy begins with the War of 1812, as the U.S. Navy was not established until after the American… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 12

A Step Forward

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 12:01 AM

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On 15 March 1947, one month to the day before Jackie Robinson became the first black player in baseball’s major leagues, John Wesley Lee Jr. became the first African American to be commissioned as a regular officer in the Navy, that is, no longer a reservist. Many citizens of this country made it clear that they did not welcome Robinson’s arrival in baseball. He received numerous death threats and other pieces of hate mail. John Lee achieved his milestone without encountering hostility, and that was at least in part the result of how the Navy arranged things for him. After… Read the rest of this entry »