Eyes on the Prize, the essential documentary of the US civil rights movement from 1954-1985, is back on Public TV. Civil rights veteran Julian Bond discussed the continuing impact and relevance of the story in this recent interview on the NewsHour.
PBS first aired Eyes on the Prize almost 20 years ago but the film ran into in a decades-long dispute over rights to the material. Now the landmark series has been fully resurrected in two parts, and the final eight segments “Eyes on the Prize Part II,” began airing on PBS stations last month. In the NewsHour interview, Bond tells behind-the-scenes stories about how the documentary was created and how he used it in his own classes.
“It’s one thing to read about in a book, ‘Stokely Carmichael said this.’ But it’s another thing to see him talk about it, to see the emotion in his eyes, the emotion in his face. It’s an entirely different situation,” he tells Gwen Ifill.
He also quotes Henry Hampton, the executive producer for the series, who said “A hundred civil rights stories had been told, but it was always black people being saved by whites. In ‘Eyes,’ we brought our people up in history.”
Check out more information and teacher resources for Eyes on the Prize from PBS.