Determined, persistent, relentless efforts to fight for equality and civil rights have made many vital marks throughout American history.
Although the founding documents of the United States have affirmed equal rights all along, many new inhabitants who came to the country were and have been denied fundamental rights; some would say the inequality persists today, especially against black citizens.
Even after World War II, in which the U.S. played a leading role, Black American soldiers returning from the war still found the essentially unchanged prevalence of racist violence in their home country.
A series of racial injustice tragedies sparked the American civil rights movement, which came to prominence in the mid-1950s.
Sgt. Isaac Woodard Jr. was a victim of one of the most brutal acts of violence against black soldiers in the United States.
After being honorably discharged from the Army in February 1946, he took a bus on his way home in Winnsboro, South Carolina.
Following a dispute with the bus driver over Woodard wanting to use a restroom, the driver called the police, who then forcibly removed him from the bus. He was beaten and blinded.
10 /10 Childhood Of Being A Sharecropper
Isaac Woodard was one of nine children, born on May 18, 1919, to Sarah and Isaac Woodard Sr. at a farm in Fairfield County, South Carolina.
Like many southern African Americans during that time, the Woodard family were poor and made their living as sharecroppers, farming land that belonged to whites.
His work in the fields caused him to miss school. Woodard ended his formal education after finishing the fifth grade at 11 years old. He left home at 15, venturing out to search for better opportunities.
9 /10 To South Pacific
Woodard was drafted into the Army in 1942 for World War II. As many as 675,000 southern black soldiers served the U.S. military abroad during the war.
Many of them hoped that putting their lives at risk for their country would lead them to a better life and more engaged participation in American society at large.
He completed basic training in Bainbridge, Georgia. After a series of further training in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, Woodard was shipped out to the South Pacific in October 1944.