Willie Long vs. U.S. Government
at Mare Island Naval Shipyard
An important, yet long unknown story about the civil rights movement is now brought to life through Jake Sloan’s inspiring firsthand, well-researched account of the courage and activism of a brave group of African American men working at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California during the 1960s.
Jake Sloan has spent most of his adult life working in the areas of civil rights and affirmative action, advocating, and fighting for opportunity and income equality for African Americans. After serving honorably in the military, he started his career as a pipefitter, mainly working on the construction of nuclear submarines at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. During that time, he became the youngest member of the “Original 21ers”. After that experience and leaving that field, while attending college, he worked primarily in programs directed at equal access and equality in training and pay for African Americans in the construction building trades of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area. Since 1985, he has continued that work as owner of Davillier-Sloan, Inc., one of California’s largest labor-management consulting firms, with a focus on the construction industry. Mr. Sloan holds an M.A. in History from San Francisco State University. Recently Mr. Sloan was recognized as a “Visionary for Diversity” by the Marcus Foster Education Institute in Oakland, California.
The Mare Island Original 21/25
"Across the country, there are unmarked graves of unsung heroes and heroines who represent countless acts of resistance which stand as testaments to the enduring struggle of African American people in the struggle for equality, democracy and economic justice. Standing Tall: The Mare Island Original 21ers, is a monument that brings to light a virtually unknown group of men who made history by standing up for what was right and just."
— Leonard McNeil, former council member and mayor of the City of San Pablo, California, retired political science professor at Contra Costa College, and retired union iron worker in Local #378
"There was a Martin Luther King movement at that time. There was an uproar throughout the nation at that time in trying to get equality. And I said to myself, 'If these people in the South can die for what they believe in, certainly I can put this little job on the line for what I believe in,' "
— Willie Long, Sr., leader of the Mare Island Original 21/25
Standing Tall: Willie Long vs. U.S. Government at Mare Island Naval Shipyard
An important, yet long unknown story about the civil rights movement is now brought to life through Jake Sloan’s inspiring firsthand, well-researched account of the courage and activism of a brave group of African American men working at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California during the 1960s..