by Steve Sheinkin
Narrated by Dominic Hoffman
Published 2014 by Roaring Brook Press
3 hrs., 49 mins. Audiobook
Genres: Nonfiction, History, Young Adult
Sheinkin presents a little-known story about the military, prejudice, and civil rights. After an explosion at the Port Chicago naval base in 1944, 244 black men refused to return to work loading ammunition into ships. Many of them were injured or suffering from PTSD (though the diagnosis didn’t yet exist) from the explosion. Not only did they fear being caught up in another explosion; they felt they were treated unfairly due to their race. The commanding officer on duty the day charged 50 of the men still refusing to return to work with mutiny, a sentence that’s still attached to their records all these years later.
Oh, the rage! I was pretty much irate the entire time I was listening to this audiobook. Of course, I ‘ve read plenty of things about this time in the U.S. I’ve heard and read many things about the civil rights movement. I know black Americans weren’t treated fairly or even decently. Still, I could hardly believe some of the stories included in this book. It’s both an infuriating and fascinating story that I think is worth a read (or listen). The audiobook was well done and pretty short. I didn’t look to see if I missed any photos included in the book. I’ll definitely recommend this to any history buffs I have in the library and perhaps some reluctant readers since it’s a pretty short book.