TV Series: Eyes on the Prize

Eyes on the Prize is an American television series and 14-hour documentary about the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. The documentary originally aired on the PBS network and also aired in the United Kingdom on BBC2. Created and executive-produced by Henry Hampton at Blackside, Inc., the series uses archival footage and interviews of participants and opponents of the movement. The title of the series is derived from the folk songKeep Your Eyes on the Prize,” which is used in each episode as the opening theme music.

A total of 14 episodes of Eyes on the Prize were produced over two seasons. The first season, Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954–1964, chronicles the time period between the United States Supreme Court ruling on Brown v. Board of Education (1954) to the Selma to Montgomery marches of 1965. The first season consists of six episodes, which premiered on January 21, 1987 and concluded on February 25, 1987. The second season, Eyes on the Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads 1965–1985, consists of eight episodes, which aired on January 15, 1990 and ended on March 5, 1990.

Since its debut, the series has been lauded for its depiction of the Civil Rights Movement. The documentary is used extensively in primary and secondary schools, as well as, other educational settings as a way to convey the experiences and struggle for civil rights in the United States.