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Eyes on the Prize
Read Others' Views: Comments on the TV Series

When Eyes on the Prize premiered in the late 1980s, it immediately became a landmark, and a staple in American classrooms. Share your comments on the 14-hour series, its impact on you, its 2006 rebroadcast, or any other topic related to the television series.

Be among the first to send in your thoughts -- and we'll post them here. You can also read a series of reflections on the era.


It is still a powerful message that needs to be retold for those of us who lived through it and for the generations that follow us.

Beverly Hector-Smith
Natick, MA


This is an excellent series! It is timely as there is a need to reintroduce again to this generation the power of one that manifests when we come together as a people for a common cause, and in the case of the Civil Rights Movement, a human cause.

I am African American and I feel this series needs to be broadcast to even a much wider audience because of the accurate and inclusive content based on facts. It is our history and this story needs to be heard again, to reinvigorate what I see as apathy and lack of knowledge in my generation and especially in our youth. Thank you for airing this documentary.

Kim Ferris
Darby, Pennsylvania


I purchased the "Eyes on the Prize" series 9 years ago and have found the tapes to be extremely educational. So much has happened since the series ended in the early 80's are there plans to create a series chronicling the mid 80's and 90's?

Thank you,

K. J.
Spring, Texas


I loved the TV series how do we get more of this? I really, really enjoyed learning about our history and all the injustices we had to endure just to survive.

Calvin D. Brown
Columbia, South Carolina


WOW...how powerful, my heart is full as I recall living through a lot of this though I was young. This is must see TV. Our young people need to be educated and have the opportunity to see all the live footage you have. It was so powerfully documented. We all need to ask, what can we do today to eliminate racial bias. Young people black and white all need to see this series to truly appreciated and fully educated on the civil rights movement. Thank you PBS for caring to air meaningful programs.

Sharon Stump
Temperence, Michigan


It is unfortunate that many of us will be unable to respond via the "wonder" of the internet about this IMPORTANT series. Time and time again we are reminded of the digital chasm through which our viewership is monitored and/or determined for its effectiveness as to whether something is considered relevant enough to be aired.

Even if the internet responses to the series are limited, the critical nature of this documentary series SHOULD outweigh getting enough viewer feedback ... because we ARE looking at the series -- talking about it and reflecting on it.

What it has done as well for many is to remind us of our need to remain forever vigilant with a constant commitment to change inequality into equality for ALL.

Another reality is that the series is a very PAINFUL and HEART-WRENCHING experience in the history of this country, most notably understood for its affect on [and felt by] AFRICAN-AMERICANS. The periods of time for which the series covers the nation's base discrimination, segregation, injustice and downright inhuman acts, is rightfully placed within the collective of American History and therefore should allow ALL AMERICANS this unique opportunity to see it, whether feedback is given or not.

Looking forward to Part II.

L. P.
Washington, D.C.


I am horrified by tonight's episode. I was born in 1959 and obviously, this information wasn't in my school books. I was born & raised in Houston and was taught to hate on the basis of skin color. However, prejudice is indeed a disease that some of us OVERCOME. I will go to bed tonight in shame by the color of my skin. I am an Irish American, a.k.a white.

Sheila Pendleton
Oskaloosa, Iowa


You paint a picture of every white on one side and the blacks on the other. What about men like J. Hoarce Germany who tried to start a black college and the KKK tried to kill him. You might be able to learn about such from the school that had to move -- Bay Ridge Christian College -- now in Kendleton, TX. There are many whites that have not been a part of the violence, but rather worked in other ways to achieve the goals of equality for all people.

Henry A. Depue
Guyman, Oklahoma


I am reminded of the sacrifices that were made by our people to correct the injustice. I am proud of those that strategically planned with workshops to effect change. I did not remember that the children of Alabama were the ones on the front line.

Forty years later, it is time for African Americans to show their appreciation to those that died and suffered in the 60's. Show appreciation by voting and encourage others to also do so; church leaders should be active in the community by volunteering in the schools, give parenting classes, tutorial classes (instead of keeping students of special education to get a check), practice and teach volunteerism in the community (clean up the streets), GED classes, promote safe neighborhoods, religious leaders and other leaders across the nation need to strategize to change the present culture of (Sex, Drugs, Disrespect, and Jailhouse Attire). My prayer is that this "Eye on the Prize" will help us overcome this next phase.

Barbara Albert
New Orleans, Louisiana


I was changing the channels when I happened to come across Eyes on the Prize series last night. On looking upon the struggles of my people, I was moved, upset, hurt, saddened, as well as very PROUD of every BLACK and WHITE brother and sister who was incarcerated, brutally beaten, and killed for justice and freedom of American citizens. It makes me (a 36 year old Christian, African American woman) feel good to see people under the guidance, influence, and power of God, come together as one and simply, get along in love and unity. Thank you PBS for sharing such an inspiring documentary, furthermore allowing the younger generations to see our determined and brave history. Remembering, only in God we continue to press forward in humility, fairness, and equality.

Reiko Myles
Baltimore, MD


Eyes on the Prize failed to mention that in 1958 Clara Luper had her high school students sitting in at Katz Drug Store in Oklahoma City. The youth group of the NAACP gave her an award this past summer after their research showed that she was ahead of all the other sit-ins but never got any credit. They were surprised their own leadership either forgot, did not know, or chose to erase this part of history. I have met her many times and had the privilege to have worked with some of her students when I taught with them before their recent retirements.

Also in your links to people you did not include Bayard Rustin. Another shocking oversight. Yet you have Brother Outsider listed on your POV list.

Two important people left out of an important history.

Joe Quigley
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


I don't believe the average person understands what trauma came into the lives of the white lower classes.

Not since the Reconstruction has the common white citizen been confronted with the unique possibility that the third generation of slaves would finally have the ability to unleash the full force of his aspirations.

After the reign of Bull O'Conner and his police, the force that served to not only administer segregation, but to punish those who did not obey, the force was emasculated.

Some of these enforcers stay on under Afro-American leadership, and were forced to re-educate themselves or lose their positions. Very few quit, however. So much for true believers.

To this day the only relief for the un-educated whites peace of mind is the military.

Robert Young
New York, New York


I want to thank Judi Hampton and all those who worked to bring this powerful presentation back to the public. I want to thank PBS(esp. WHRO) for airing this important documentary.

As someone born in 1949 I have some memory of the civil rights movement, but only vague ones, really. What I do remember is "Eyes on The Prize". I was changed forever. I am white and female and I know that I owe a great debt to those brave souls who worked so hard for desegregation and I need to be reminded. The fight is far from over -- Montel Williams just did a show on current racism. Seeing what others were willing to do may re-energize the movement for civil rights.

We cannot take freedom for granted -- our government is using the threat of terrorism to make inroads on privacy rights. The rights of all citizens are precious, but we owe the offspring of slavery our highest vigilance.

What are we doing to bring justice and equality to all our citizens of this country?

Lissa Henry
Hampton, Virginia


I think a lot of the problems that we as black people have had to endure is the direct result of Plantation owners using the tactics that were taught to them by the slave owner from the West Indies, Willie Lynch. As you may know he taught them to keep their slaves in line by using mistrust of as a tool. That same concept has been used ever since to keep us dazed and confused.

Seeing Eyes On The Prize, let me know that we are a strong race to have endured those tactics and still fight the fight that has us moving on up as we are.

Thank you PBS for continuing to let the World know how important the Civil Rights Movement is and continues to be.

Respectfully,

Dwight E.Moss
South Bend, Indiana


I remember watching the series back in 1987 and finding it so difficult to watch. This should never have happened. Where was the justice? The reasoning behind the whole thing? This is what the world knows about Mississippi. Fannie Lou Hamer asked, "Is this America? Yes it is. White as I am the series opened my eyes to who really is free.

Roderick Brentnall
Toronto, Ontario


GREAT PROGRAM FOR HUMANITY!

I. L.
Ventura, California


Thanks to PBS for resurrecting this essential document in American history

Seneca Vaught, Ph.D.
Lewiston, New York


I was a freshman at Northwestern University when this series first aired. I was one of five Black students in a dorm of over 300 students. My friend Stacey and I locked ourselves in her room and watched the broadcast on her small TV, engrossed and enraged.

I am a native of Dolomite, Alabama, a small community outside of Birmingham. My paternal grandfather pastored Sixteenth Street Baptist Church until his death in 1960. I spent many Sundays attending service there with my grandmother. I was familiar with the families of the four girls who died in the infamous bombing. My aunts, uncles and many of the adults in my life marched, protested, integrated and agitated.

Despite the fact that I grew up in the midst of all of this history, surrounded by people who participated in this movement, it took Eyes on the Prize to begin a still developing understanding of that movement and its meaning.

Thanks, PBS, for rebroadcasting this documentary. I can't wait to share it with the younger children in my family.

A.M.B.
Baltimore, Maryland


As a partaker of the movement, I am so very glad that Eyes on the Prize has been re-released. I originally had the tapes when you first aired it, and when I lent them to someone to share with their grandchildren, they lost them. I have been searching in vain to obtain the tapes, or now, DVD of the complete series of the Eyes on the Prize.

I hope that you will make this available to all on video. This piece of history must continue to be seen by all.

Thanks Again,

Stephanie Hopkins
Baltimore, Maryland


The last time I saw this series on PBS I recall that I was 13 years old. I am now 27 and elated that Eyes on the Prize is back. There is a generation of young people who are now being introduced to this prolific film via television airing and it will be interesting to hear and see their reactions and comments.

D.T.M.
Washington, D.C.


This is a landmark series that should be required viewing for every American, regardless of race. It's been kept off the air by rights issues for too long. Now it seems those have been resolved. But what about home video rights? Will we be able to purchase this essential documentary on DVD in the near future?

A.A.
Castro Valley, California

Note: The series is available at an institutional price at Shop PBS for Teachers.


Thank you for your continuing advocacy of knowledge and truth. This series is truly a great historical archive that reflects the truths and consequences of our society and civilization. May you continue in the dissemination of such truths so that one day the whole of our society and future generations may learn from the mistakes of ignorance and narrow mindedness.

Rafael Gallardo
Long Beach, California


The greatest series ever. Every American should see this.

D.C.
Tempe, Arizona


I would like to thank PBS for broadcasting Eyes On the Prize, it was a real eye opener for me, and it helped me to remember the struggle African Americans made, and how they it paved the way for society today. This documentary, as well as others in the past has given me and my family a broader look at what different cultural backgrounds went through here in America. Please continue to feature more programs such as these to educate the public. I feel that if the youth today had more knowledge about their history, and the things that took place to have the opportunities that society has now, they wouldn't take it for granted and would utilize it more.

S. M. Jones
Cincinnati, Ohio


I watched the first part of the series last night about the integration of the school systems. I think this film should be shown in the schools, juvenile delinquent homes and prisons, so that our youth can see what their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents had to go through in their yesterdays in order for us to have the type of freedom that we have today. Every parent also need to purchase this documentary and show it to their child(ren). I don't believe the black youth of today realize just how good they have it. We have truly come a long way and can go even further if we stop the unnecessary violence in our communities and come together as one like they did back then.

Vernessa
Buffalo, New York


I am just glad to see this documentary return to television. I know it has been a long time coming, but thank God it is back! It is important that documentaries like this are shown to are young people, who feel like they have privilege. But who got it for them. I know my children will be watching this. Thank you for your hard work!!!

Marie
Chicago, Illinois


THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU for airing this important series about a critical time in our history. Because this series was not available on DVD -- I have anxiously awaited (against all hope) that it might return to the airwaves one day! I raised my three children watching this series (great educational tool) and now I have the pleasure of seeing it again. Thank you for taking the initiative to bring this to us once again :)

T.M.L.
Frederick, Maryland


I just want to thank all the individuals and organizations involved in creating and promoting EYES ON THE PRIZE. I am a homeschool educator, and I have used many of the PBS programs to enrich my homeschool classes. In particular, I have used it least three of the programs produced by Blackside, to teach African-American history to high school and adult learners. My favorite was THIS FAR BY FAITH. The scholarship is sound and in my opinion usually rates at an A+. Thank you to all. You do good work. My students and I learn so much from PBS and the excellent programs that are shared so generously with so many people. We are lucky indeed to be so blessed at the quality education we receive from PBS, in the comfort of our homes.

Rose
Green Bay, Wisconsin


I have been waiting for this series to return. I remember when it came on every year during Black History Month. The youth of today should be required to watch the series. They seem to have no concept of the idea of the Civil Rights movement or the struggles Black people endured and continue to endure. They should witness the struggles of the "WE" generation as opposed to the demands for materialism of their "Me" generation.

Cheryl
Brooklyn, New York


This is probably the single most important TV series that I have ever seen. Young people today know nothing of the time when Black America was so segregated. I hope that you do air the entire series. It looks as though you only plan to air the first six episodes. Please show the entire series, as our struggle did not end in 1965. Far from it, it was the beginning of things finally starting to come to some type of livable existence between White America and Black America. Things are not what they should be, even today, in the year 2006. Please, please show this entire series. Thank you.

Linda Alexander
Lubbock, Texas


Eyes On the Prize I and II are two of the most important documentaries of American history. Both series should be aired for the benefit of young folks, seniors, scholars, and the lay public.

James E. Johnson
Clayton, New Jersey


I first saw this entire series on my personal sabbatical to Portland, OR. I rented the series from the library and this program left a permanent mark on my heart as one of the finest documentaries I have ever seen! Thanks for replaying it for my, and younger generations to see!

Mindy Stone
Melbourne, Florida


Thank you for airing this documentary again. I remember seeing it the first time in the late 80's. My daughter and I are watching it together. This documentary should be aired in its entirety each February.

My question is, why has this documentary not been available for purchase?

R.H.
Round Rock, Texas


I am so disappointed! Why on earth did PBS show only the first six hours? The episodes containing Malcolm X, the Black Panthers, Muhammad Ali, Black Power, Attica, racism in the North, 1966-1985, etc....are not going to be shown! These programs are only available for teachers to purchase when they should be seen by all Americans!

Linda Wickstein
Oakland Gardens, New York


As a participant of the civil rights movement, a Freedom Rider and Voter Registration Organizer, I've waited an awful long time for the first series of Eyes on the Prize to be rebroadcast. Not allowing public access to the movie meant that for too long the public has been denied the truth of history.

With great urgency I await your rebroadcast of the second series

Thomas Armstrong
Naperville, Illinois


Thank you so much for re-broadcasting Eyes on the Prize. This is an excellent documentary that should be seen on network television. But I'm sooooo grateful for PBS. This is the best documentary of the civil rights movement PERIOD!!! I am moved to tears as I watch this because we are doomed to repeat history.

Thanks again PBS and the Ford Foundation.

Annisha Jeffries
Cleveland, Ohio


I am so touched and it's such a reminder that whatever the cost we paid for the truth is worth it. May not only the Americans, but those all over the world remember this!

James
Burnaby, British Columbia


Very good documentary. I feel viscerally about this issue, not just intellectually challenged.

Today the world's injustice is the difference between peoples, between starving nations and nations where obesity is the killer. We must embrace this new challenge, more urgent even than the one of terrorism.

Marc Lenaerts
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


I think that the history of the Civil Rights movements featured in this series, when presented in a package like the series, is enthralling and extremely moving. I only caught the last airing, and have strong desires to know more. At the thought of researching the subject, however, I become quite overwhelmed to the point of quitting. I was outraged when I found out that the complete series was only available to OPB members, which I cannot afford right now but plan on joining ASAP, and at the whopping price of $375.

I learned facts about this subject that seem to be lost in a vast sea of cold, black and white details, that I would not notice when left to study it alone. I feel this series may be the only way possible for me to learn all that I desire about this subject, or at least provide me with a great outline for study. I also feel that I am not the only person who has this point of view.

I believe there should be more opportunities allowed for me and others to obtain this series in the near or distant future. Thank you for allowing me to express my thoughts and concerns about this.

T. M.
Portland, Oregon


As I sit and watch the re-broadcast of Eyes on the Prize, I have a reawakening of the horrific struggle of Blacks in America for equality. Where the right to vote was the pinnacle stake, human rights and human dignity were defined. All men are a "created" equal, however watching the documentary, specifically the marchers in Selma for example, proves likewise. In this scene, an unidentified man asks an officer, "Do you believe in equal rights?" The officer replied, "I don't believe in equal nothing." The black man then said, "So if I (a black man) have a quarter in my pocket and you have a quarter in your pocket, your quarter has more value than mine?" The officer replied back to him, "Your quarter can have any value you want it to have." WOW, that exchange in and of itself clearly shows that logic had nothing to do with the resistance at all, clearly ignorance was the force. Despite the struggle of those who marched and those who died for many of the rights we have today, there are still many ills that affect our society. They are the direct effect of slavery and all of the atrocities circumvented from the mentality of those like the Officer.

L. Davis
Folcroft, Pennsylvania


I saw your film, and as usual it was one-sided. I lived through that period of time and my experience is that the negro was very violent and violence spread to other parts of the nation. The "Watts" section in Los Angeles is an example. When Martin Luther King, Jr. died in 1968, I, and the nation as a whole breathed a sigh of REAL RELIEF that the end of the Negro Civil Rights Movement became reality. The negro to this day is still belligerent, carries the chip on the shoulder and continues to use the "RACIST CARD" on a regular basis. The most RACIST organization is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) here in the United States.

W.R.B.
Austin, Texas

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