South Carolina should be proud today. U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Gergel published Unexampled Courage: The Blinding of Sergeant Isaac Woodard and the Awakening of President Harry S. Truman and Judge J. Waties Waring. His book is a fantastic read. The issues raised echo the front pages of today.
The book begins with the tragic story of Sergeant Isaac Woodard. He was a decorated war veteran. Unfortunately, he was also African American in South Carolina in 1946. The local chief of police savagely beat him, leaving him unconscious and permanently blind. Of course, an all-white jury acquitted the police chief.
In the book, Judge Gergel explains how Sergeant Woodard’s blinding set in motion a chain of events that changed America’s civil rights history. PBS produced a documentary based on Judge Gergel’s book, and it premieres at 9 p.m. March 30. Watch the trailer here. Don’t miss it.