By DeNeen L. Brown, washingtonpost.com
Two years before President Harry S. Truman signed an executive order to desegregate the armed forces, a black World War II veteran in uniform was pulled from a bus in Batesburg, S.C., and severely beaten by a police chief violently swinging a nightstick.
Isaac Woodard, who was accused of talking back to the bus driver, lost consciousness in the assault and was permanently blinded.
“Negro veterans that fought in this war . . . don’t realize that the real battle has just begun in America,” Woodard, who was attacked Feb. 12, 1946, hours after he had been honorably discharged, told the Chicago Defender newspaper.