“Eyes on the Prize” Showing February 25 in Brooklyn
The day-long event also will feature a panel discussion on the making of the documentary, originally a 14-part series broadcast on Public Television. Jon Else, a producer of the series and author of True South, an account of the making of the landmark film, will be on the panel with such other filmmakers and activists as Sabaah Foloyan, Sam Pollard and Nikole Hannah-Jones.
The documentary, which first aired on January 21, 1987, follows the Civil Rights movement from 1954, the year of the Supreme Court’s historic Brown v. Board of Education decision, through 1985. The film uses archival footage, stills and interviews of participants and opponents of the movement and is narrated by the late civil rights leader, Julian Bond.
The series was conceived by Henry Hampton, who was its executive producer, and its impact has been described as having “changed the public’s understanding of the American civil rights movement, and introduced a generation of filmmakers and documentary practices that would shape the field for decades to come.”
The series was not seen for many years because of copyright issues until the Ford Foundation, with other donors, provided grants that helped clear the way for it to be available again and re-broadcast in 2006.