Judge Julius Waties Waring presided over the trial of a white police chief who brutally beat and blinded Black soldier Isaac Woodard in 1946. He became an unexpected civil rights champion with rulings on several pivotal cases in the 1940s.
Learn more about THE BLINDING OF ISAAC WOODARD, including where to watch the documentary: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/blinding-isaac-woodard/
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 shocking incident made national headlines and, when the police chief was acquitted by an all-white jury, the blatant 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 President Harry Truman, who desegregated federal offices and the military two years later. The event 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 jumpstarted the modern civil rights movement.