In 1946, Isaac Woodard, a Black army sergeant on his way home to South Carolina after serving in WWII, was pulled from a bus for arguing with the driver. The local chief of police savagely beat him, leaving him unconscious and permanently blind. The incident of racial violence by police 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.

Watch The Blinding of Isaac Woodard on American Experience, tonight at 9pm on GBH 2


Credit: Courtesy of the AFRO American Newspapers Archives