On a Saturday evening in July 1944, Private Booker T. Spicely boarded a segregated bus from Durham, North Carolina back to his military base, Camp Butner. When some white soldiers got on, the bus driver shouted at Spicely to move to the last row.
“I thought I was fighting this war for democracy,” Spicely protested. “We’re both wearing the same uniform.”
Private Spicely never made it back to base that night.
This short was inspired by the American Experience documentary, THE BLINDING OF ISAAC WOODARD.
Official Website: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/blinding-isaac-woodard/ | #IsaacWoodardPBS
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.
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