Center of Town
For decades, Macdonald Avenue has been the vibrant heartof Richmond; a place where you'd catch the latest movie, get your first job or visit with neighbors on the sidewalk. As the nation prepared for World War II, Richmond's elite and Henry Kaiser celebrated the opening of the shipyards near here in 1941. However, not all were welcome downtown. African Americans felt more accepted in North Richmond and Mexican American Zoot-suiters endured slurs, while Japanese Americans were required to register as "enemy aliens” at the Post Office just one block away.
The flood of defense workers changed Richmond from a quiet town to a boiling city of more than 100,000. Despite conflicts, important issues brought old and new residents together during and after the war - walking picket lines and pushing to make Richmond one of the first cities in California to ban job discrimination.
"For eleyen months we walked that picket line... 'til one day they hired a black checker at Safeway.... It was an integrated picket line, black and white walking together.” Edgar Monk
1) "During the war
2) A banner across Macdonald represented the interracial coalition that prompted the Richmond City Council to adopt a "Fair Employment" ordinance in 1949. Courtesy Labor Archives, San Francisco State University
3) The face of Richmond changed as diverse
employees built the Kaiser Shipyard workforce.
Courtesy Richmond Museum of History
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Civil Rights • Industry & Commerce • War, World II. A significant historical year for this entry is 1941.
Location. 37° 56.149′ N, 122° 21.608′ W. Marker is in Richmond, California, in Contra Costa County. Marker is at the intersection of MacDonald Avenue and Harbour Way, on the right when traveling west on MacDonald Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Richmond CA 94801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. What Happened Here? (approx. 0.2 miles away); Welcome to Richmond (approx. 0.3 miles away); City of Richmond Employees World War II Memorial (approx. 0.9 miles away); Richmond Native Sons/Daughters of the Golden West Veterans Memorial
Credits. This page was last revised on July 13, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 13, 2020, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California. This page has been viewed 127 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 13, 2020, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California.