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Blinding Of Isaac Woodard Told In Latest PBS 'American Experience'

isaac woodward
Courtesy of PBS
World War II veteran Isaac Woodard with eyes swollen shut from aggravated assault and blinding.

The name Isaac Woodard does not register the way those of other influential people of the American Civil Rights movement might, but his story is critical to the U.S. government's response to its treatment of Black people.

Freshly returned from service in World War II, the uniformed officer was on his way home in the Deep South when a violent attack at the hands of law enforcement left him without sight.

The military then denied Woodard his disability claim due to the fact that the disability followed his active service. 

But popular Black American entertainers and sports personalities rose up and raised funds for him in a star-studded affair, and then, even the president of the United States - recognizing the shame of it all - responded, too.

The case would unite forces that would ultimately drive out segregation in U.S. schools.

"The Blinding of Isaac Woodard" is the latest installment of the PBS anthology series American Experience, premiering Tuesday on PBS stations.

Producer and Director Jamila Ephron joins Cincinnati Edition to talk about the film.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.