Eyes on the Prize

Watch Eyes on the Prize

  • TV-PG
  • 1987
  • 1 Season
  • 9.2  (717)

Eyes on the Prize is a documentary series chronicling the Civil Rights Movement in America from 1954 to 1985. It originally aired on PBS from 1987 to 1990, with the first six episodes focusing on the period from the Brown v. Board of Education decision to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, while the latter four episodes cover the years from 1966 to 1985. Narrated by Julian Bond, the show features interviews with key figures in the movement, such as Coretta Scott King and John Lewis.

The series provides a comprehensive look at the struggle for civil rights in America, examining the major events and figures that shaped the movement. The first episode, "Awakenings (1954-1956)," starts with the Brown v. Board of Education decision and traces the efforts of African Americans to gain equal access to schools and public facilities in the South. Other episodes cover the Montgomery bus boycott, the sit-ins and Freedom Rides, the March on Washington, and the Selma to Montgomery march, among other key moments in the movement.

The interviews with historical figures provide unique insight into the thinking and motivations of those who risked their lives to fight for justice. In one memorable moment, John Lewis recounts his experience being beaten by state troopers during the Bloody Sunday march in Selma, Alabama, and the impact it had on the movement. The show also features interviews with other key figures, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and James Baldwin.

Eyes on the Prize not only documents the major events and figures of the movement, but it also examines the various strategies and tactics used by civil rights activists. It highlights the importance of grassroots organizing, community mobilization, and nonviolent resistance, as well as the role of media and public opinion in bringing about change.

The series also delves into the intricacies of the movement, exploring the tensions between different groups and individuals who had different visions for the movement's goals and strategies. For example, it examines the split between the more militant Black Power movement and the more traditional civil rights groups, such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Throughout the series, Eyes on the Prize emphasizes the courage and sacrifice of those who fought for civil rights, from the brave students who participated in sit-ins to the Freedom Riders who risked their lives traveling through the South. It also highlights the role of women in the movement, such as the crucial role played by Ella Baker in organizing the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the grassroot efforts of Fannie Lou Hamer.

Overall, Eyes on the Prize remains a seminal work in the history of civil rights documentaries. Its in-depth analysis of the movement and its key figures, as well as its powerful use of historical footage and interviews, continue to inform and inspire audiences today.

Eyes on the Prize is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (6 episodes). The series first aired on January 21, 1987.

Eyes on the Prize
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Bridge to Freedom - 1965
6. Bridge to Freedom - 1965
February 25, 1987
Ten years after the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, the civil rights leadership has become more sophisticated in its use of protest strategy.
Mississippi: Is This America? - 1963-1964
5. Mississippi: Is This America? - 1963-1964
February 18, 1987
Starting in 1961, Mississippi became a testing ground of constitutional principles and of the human spirit, as the civil rights movement concentrated its energies on the right to vote.
No Easy Walk - 1961-1963
4. No Easy Walk - 1961-1963
February 11, 1987
This episode depicts major civil rights movement events in three American cities.
Ain't Scared of Your Jails - 1960-1961
3. Ain't Scared of Your Jails - 1960-1961
February 4, 1987
Beginning in 1960, young people on Black college campuses took a more active role in the civil rights movement's leadership and determined their own methods of promoting change.
Fighting Back - 1957-1962
2. Fighting Back - 1957-1962
January 28, 1987
Looking at the law as a tool both for change and resistance to change, particularly as it relates to education, this episode covers the years 1949-1963.
Awakenings - 1954-1956
1. Awakenings - 1954-1956
January 21, 1987
A look at the events in post-World War II America that led to the civil rights protests and marches. The program depicts Southern race discrimination that prevailed at the beginning of the civil rights movement's activities.
Where to Watch Eyes on the Prize
Eyes on the Prize is available for streaming on the PBS website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Eyes on the Prize on demand at Max, Amazon Prime, Amazon, Apple TV and PBS.
  • Premiere Date
    January 21, 1987
  • IMDB Rating
    9.2  (717)