Rosie the Riveter Trust to screen two films honoring Black history

Musical chronicling life of Betty Reid Soskin set for Bay Area debut
Betty Reid Soskin (Photo courtesy of Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond)

By Kathy Chouteau

Rosie the Riveter Trust will screen two films Wed., June 14th from 6:30-9:30 p.m. in recognition of Juneteenth and FDR’s Executive Order 8802 prohibiting discrimination in the U.S defense industry. The films will be shown as part of the organization’s “Rosie Presents!” public education series and will be shown at the El Cerrito Performing Arts Theater in El Cerrito.

That night, audience members can view the films Invisible Warriors—The African American Women in World War II, including a special discussion with producer/director, Gregory S. Cooke, and No Time to Waste—The Urgent Mission of Betty Reid Soskin, per the Trust.

The film Invisible Warriors showcases the trailblazing Black women who were the first to work in industry and government administrative service. It’s “an unforgettable conversation among a diverse group of African American Rosie the Riveters who recount what life was really like during World War II,” per the Trust. “They are hardworking underdogs of high character who do battle and win.”

The second film, No Time to Waste, “celebrates legendary 101-year-old former park ranger Betty Reid Soskin’s inspiring life, work and urgent mission to restore critical missing chapters of America’s story,” stated the Trust. The organization said the documentary covers Ms. Soskin’s captivating life, spanning from her time as a young Black woman in a WWII segregated union hall, through her multidimensional career as a singer, activist, mother, legislative representative and park planner to her public role at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park.

At the national park, “Betty illuminated the invisible histories of African Americans and other people of color. Her efforts have changed the way the National Park Service conveys this history to audiences across the U.S., challenging us all to move together toward a more perfect union,” per the Trust.

According to Rosie the Riveter Trust, it’s a nonprofit organization that builds resources for the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park on the Richmond waterfront. The double feature event is also a fundraiser supporting programs at the national park such as Every Kid Outdoors, Rosie’s Service Corps and public education programming.

The El Cerrito Performing Arts Theater is located at 540 Ashbury Ave. in El Cerrito. Learn more about Invisible Warriors here and more about the event here. Learn more about the work of Rosie the Riveter Trust here.