© 2022 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
WKAR StayTuned Update

The Blinding of Isaac Woodard | American Experience

Black-and-white photograph of Leroy Carter and Donald jones leading Isaac Woodard, wearing sunglasses, up stairs with Willie Mabry in background
Courtesy of the AFRO American Newspapers Archives
/
PBS
Front, left to right: Leroy Carter; Isaac Woodard and Donald Jones, NAACP assistant field secretary. Willie Mabry, Sgt. Woodard’s cousin, in background. Likely taken while Woodard was on his speaking tour with the NAACP. 10/1946.";

Tue. Mar. 30 at 9pm on WKAR-HD 23.1 & STREAMING | Discover the 1946 incident of racial violence by police that led to the racial awakening of President Harry Truman and set the stage for the landmark 1954 Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education decision, jump-starting the civil rights movement.In 1946, Isaac Woodard, a Black army sergeant on his way home to South Carolina after serving in WWII, was taken off a Greyhound bus after a heated exchange with the driver, who 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.

Based on Richard Gergel’s book Unexampled Courage, the film details how the crime led to the racial awakening of South Carolina Judge J. Waties Waring and President Harry Truman, who desegregated the military and federal offices two years later.

Watch each episode at video.wkar.org during or after the premiere date.

MORE ABOUT AMERICAN EXPERIENCE:
For?more than?30 years,?American Experience?has been television’s most-watched history series, bringing?to life the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America’s past and present.

News from WKAR will never be behind a paywall. Ever. We need your help to keep our coverage free for everyone. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. You can support our journalism for as little as $5. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.