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Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Movement


14 episodes on 7 DVDs, 55 minutes each
Source: PBS Video

A comprehensive television documentary about the American Civil Rights Movement, utilizing rare historical film and present-day interviews. 

  1. Disc 1:
    Episode 1: Awakenings (1954-1956)
    Focuses on the Mississippi lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till and the subsequent trial; Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott; the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; and the entry of ordinary citizens and local leaders into the black struggle for freedom

    Episode 2: Fighting Back (1957-1962)
    Traces the African American community’s rejection of "separate but equal" education, from the Supreme Court's historic Brown v. Board of Education decision to the efforts of the first black high school and college students to integrate white schools.

  2. Disc 2:
    Episode 3: Ain't Scared of Your Jails (1960-1961)
    Chronicles the formation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the participation of young people and college students in lunch counter sit-ins and Freedom Rides, as well as the Civil Rights Movement's influence on the 1960 presidential campaign.

    Episode 4: No Easy Walk (1962-66)
    Examines the emergence of mass demonstrations and marches as a powerful form of protest by documenting the anti-segregation march of Alabama school children against the spray of fire hoses and the historic 1963 March on Washington, DC. 

  3. Disc 3:
    Episode 5: Mississippi: Is This America? (1962-1964)
    Focuses on the extraordinary personal risks that citizens faced as they assumed responsibility for social change, particularly during the 1962-64 voting rights campaign in Mississippi. The state became a testing ground of constitutional principles as civil rights activists concentrated their energies on the right to vote. White resistance to the sharing of political power clashed with the strong determination of movement leaders to bring Mississippi blacks to the ballot box. In Freedom Summer 1964, tension between white resistance and civil rights activists reached its height in the tragic murder of three young civil rights workers.

    Episode 6: Bridge to Freedom (1965)
    Opens with the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery and explores the drive to make voting rights a national issue, examining ideological differences within the movement and the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

  4. Disc 4:
    Episode 7: The Time Has Come (1964-1966)
    Introduces the early 1960s African American community outside the southern-based freedom movement. It describes the rise and transformation of Malcolm X and his influence; demonstrates the movement's struggle to develop new goals and create new strategies in the post-voting rights era; and examines the context of the call for "Black Power."

    Episode 8: Two Societies (1965-1968)
    Explores the southern Civil Rights Movement's first attempt at organizing in the North; presents the frustration and desire for change felt by black residents of northern cities; looks at the 1967 uprising in Detroit; and witnesses the end of an era for the Civil Rights Movement as President Johnson turns his attention to other matters.

  5. Disc 5:
    Episode 9: Power! (1966-1968)
    Traces the political path to power for Carl Stokes, describes the founding of the Black Panther Party, and examines the education experiment in New York's Ocean Hill-Brownsville section.

    Episode 10: The Promised Land (1967-1968)
    Illustrates connections between the war in Vietnam and the problem of poverty in the United States, analyzes the controversial positions taken by Martin Luther King, and discusses the assassination of King and the nationwide reaction to his death.

  6. Disc 6:
    Episode 11: Ain't Gonna Shuffle No More (1964-1972)
    Chronicles Mohammed Ali's career, describes the student movement at Howard University for Black Studies, and documents the events of the National Black Political Convention at Gary, Indiana.

    Episode 12: A Nation of Law (1968-1971)
    Examines the government's response to the Black Panther Party in Chicago and rebelling inmates at Attica Correctional Facility, chronicles the FBI's covert program to disrupt and neutralize black organizations, and specifically documents the activities of an FBI informant who infiltrated the Black Panther Party.

  7. Disc 7:
    Episode 13: The Keys to the Kingdom (1974-1980)
    Describes the desegregation and busing of Boston public schools following the 1974 court order, assesses the success of affirmative action in Atlanta, Georgia, and examines the case of medical student Alan Bakke.

    Episode 14: Back to the Movement (1979-mid 1980s)
    Contrasts the communities of Miami and Chicago in the early 1980s, traces the election of Harold Washington to the position of Chicago's first black mayor, and explores the themes of power and powerlessness.

    Download the Eyes on the Prize study guide.

Recent Changes to Eyes on the Prize Series Availability:

We are no longer able to stream Eyes On The Prize episodes and our library is not able to lend DVDs at this time. The Eyes on the Prize series can be found through Kanopy (a streaming service provided by public libraries) and Amazon Prime. We apologize for the incovenience.

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