Eyes on the Prize

About This Program

Eyes on the Prize tells the definitive story of the civil rights era from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that changed the fabric of American life, and embodied a struggle whose reverberations continue to be felt today.

The award-winning documentary series recounts the fight to end decades of discrimination and segregation from the murder of Emmett Till in 1955 to Harold Washington's mayoral win of 1983 in Chicago. This is the story of the people -- young and old, male and female, northern and southern -- who, compelled by a meeting of conscience and circumstance, worked to eradicate a world where whites and blacks could not attend the same school, ride the same bus, vote in the same election, or participate equally in society. It was a time in which peaceful demonstrators were met with resistance and brutality -- a reality that may once have been nearly incomprehensible to many young Americans but is all too undeniable once again today.

Through historical interviews and footage, the critically acclaimed Eyes on the Prize traces the civil rights movement from the Montgomery bus boycott to the Voting Rights Act; from early acts of individual courage through the flowering of a mass movement and its eventual split into factions. Narrated by political leader and civil rights activist Julian Bond (1940-2015).