The Port Chicago 50: Racism and Review

Sponsored by the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society, the NDCA Chapter of the FBA,
and the Northern District Historical Society.

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. Longshoremen warned that catastrophe was imminent, and on July 17, 1944 that admonition came true with a cataclysmic series of explosions that instantly killed 320 men (⅔ of them African American) and injured hundreds more.

A month later, 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″‍—‌were convicted of mutiny and sentenced in ways that would change their lives.

Members of the Contra Costa Bar Association’s Port Chicago Task Force and the Federal Bar Association will present a partial reenactment of the Mutiny Trials and discuss 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.


WHEN: Monday, February 27 | 5:00 – 6:30 PM

WHERE: The U.S. District Courthouse, Ceremonial Courtroom, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco
or virtually over Zoom.

COST*: $65 in-person | $50 virtual

*Discounted registration is available to NDCA FBA members, NJCHS members, NDHS members, and members of the Contra Costa Bar Assoc. Port Chicago Task Force.

1.5 hours Elimination of Bias CA CLE available
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Registration for this event is now closed.


During the program, a verification code will be read by our moderator and appear in the chat box; you will need to record this code to complete the CLE verification form to receive your credit. You must complete the CLE verification form by Tuesday, March 7.

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Want to see another great program in this series?

Click below to watch the recording of our recent program program
“On American Soil: How Justice Became A Casualty of World War II.”