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The War at Home

American Experience

This video was originally published by American Experience to accompany its film, THE BLINDING OF ISAAC WOODARD. Produced by Kirstin Butler and Eric P. Gulliver and edited by Eric P. Gulliver.

Pvt. Booker T. Spicely was one of numerous soldiers slain for purported Jim Crow violations in the 1940s.

On a Saturday evening in July 1944, Spicely was riding a segregated bus back to Camp Butner, outside of Durham, North Carolina. He was a uniformed Black soldier returning from a night out in Hayti, the city’s historic Black community. But Spicely never made it back to base that night. The white bus driver fatally shot Spicely after he resisted the driver’s order to move to the last row of the bus. THE WAR AT HOME tells the story of this murder and how the U.S. government failed Booker Spicely and countless other African American soldiers.

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