News and Events

Press Releases

Celebrated Local Author Steve Sheinkin Discusses Writing of WWII Civil Rights Story

CONTACT: Deborah Renfrew (518) 629-7180,
Brenda Hazard (518) 629-7388,
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015

Steve Sheinkin, award-winning local author of several non-fiction books on American history, will give a talk on his book, “The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny and the Fight for Civil Rights,” in Hudson Valley Community College’s BTC Auditorium, Monday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m. The public is invited free of charge.

The book is a National Book Award Finalist and a Newbery Honor Winner. Other notable books by Sheinkin include “The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism and Treachery,” “King George: What Was His Problem? The Whole Hilarious Story of the American Revolution” and “Lincoln’s Grave Robbers.”

“The Port Chicago 50” is the story of World War II African American sailors—many of them still teenagers—who were assigned to load ammunition at Port Chicago, a segregated naval base in California. The sailors never received training to handle ammunition safely and were constantly being rushed by their officers. A terrifying disaster rocked the base and forced the men into the toughest decision of their lives: return to duty as ordered or risk everything to take a stand against segregation in the military?

Sheinkin’s talk is the final presentation in the lecture and film screening series, Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle, hosted by the college’s Dwight Marvin Library. Based on the highly acclaimed documentary, Freedom Riders, the Created Equal series featured talks by leading civil rights scholars on civil rights and racism in America today and on the history of our nation’s civil rights movement.

For more information about Sheinkin, go to For more information about the series, go to

Created Equal: America's Civil Rights Struggle is made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 80 associate degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 75,000 alumni.