The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Eyes on the Prize - Fighting Back (1957-1962) [Part 2 of 14] (1987)

  • Lindsay Almond Jr.
  • Mel Baily
  • Ross Barnett
"Eyes on the Prize" is an exceptional series--mostly because instead of the typical hour or half hour documentary, it's VERY thorough and very detailed---covering not just an event but the civil rights movement from 1954 through 1965--and a LOT happened during that time. This isn't surprising, as PBS has made tons of interesting and well-crafted documentaries over the years.

This episode has to do with Brown vs. Board of Education as well as the repercussions of this desegregation decision. As a result, the crazy notion of 'separate but equal' was abolished--mostly because it was incredibly unequal. However, despite the Supreme Court's decision, several Southern states decided to try to subvert this and prevent Blacks from attending previously Whites-only schools. Also, perhaps surprising to many, is President Kennedy's poor reaction to this situation, as he was loathe to enforce the law. There is some overlap with this second episode and later ones, as this second one only has to do with the integration of schools. Other topics, such as the sit-ins and Dr. King's work, would be dealt with in other shows--though they were occurring concurrently. As with all the episodes, the show did an exceptional job--using interviews, file footage and narration to tell the story. Well made and fascinating.

Transcript of "Fighting Back":