American Experience: The Blinding of Isaac Woodard


Tuesday, March 30th at 9 p.m.

In 1946, Isaac Woodard, a Black army sergeant was on his way home to South Carolina after serving in WWII, was taken off a Greyhound bus after a heated exchange with the driver. The driver refused to let him off at a rest stop to use the restroom. The local chief of police savagely beat him, leaving him unconscious and permanently blind. The shocking incident made national headlines and when the police chief was acquitted by an all-white jury, the injustice would change the course of American history.

The film details how the crime led to the racial awakening of South Carolina and how Judge J. Waties Waring and President Harry Truman desegregated the military and federal offices two years later. It also ultimately set the stage for the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, which finally outlawed segregation in public schools and jump-started the modern civil rights movement.

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