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The Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader: Documents, Speeches, and Firsthand Accounts from the Black Freedom Struggle Paperback – November 1, 1991

ISBN-13: 978-0140154030 ISBN-10: 0140154035 Edition: Reprint
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The Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader: Documents, Speeches, and Firsthand Accounts from the Black Freedom Struggle + Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 + Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s Through the 1980s
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This volume is one of several produced in conjunction with the 14-part PBS Eyes on the Prize television series. It is a collection of over 100 court decisions, speeches, interviews, and other documents on the civil rights movement from 1954 to 1990. Included in the collection are the Brown v. Board of Education decision of the Supreme Court that declared legally segregated schools to be unconstitutional, Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham City Jail," Harold Washington's inaugural speech after being elected mayor of Chicago, and the speech delivered by Nelson Mandela in Atlanta in June 1990. The chapter introductions written by the editors are sometimes too brief to enable readers to fully appreciate the context and importance of the documents. Nonetheless, the volume is rich in primary source material on the civil rights movement. It can be a valuable reference work for public and university libraries.
- Thomas H. Ferrell, Univ. of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: Eyes on the Prize
  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (November 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140154035
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140154030
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am a historian who teaches at Stanford University, where I also serve as founding director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute. My latest book -- Martin's Dream: My Journey and the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. -- is a memoir of my experiences during the half century since I attended the 1963 March on Washington.

The late Mrs. Coretta Scott King selected me in 1985 to edit and publish the papers of her late husband and, since then, I have devoted most of my professional life to the study of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the movements King inspired. Under my direction, the King Papers Project, a component of the King Institute, has produced six volumes of a definitive, comprehensive edition of speeches, sermons, correspondence, publications, and unpublished writings. I have also edited numerous other books based on King's papers.

A member of Stanford's department of history since receiving my doctorate from UCLA in 1975, I have also served as visiting professor or visiting fellow at American University, the University of California, Berkeley, Duke University, Emory University, Harvard University, the Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, the L'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and at Morehouse College in Atlanta, where during 2009 I was Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Professor and Executive Director of that institution's King Collection.

My writings reflect not only my research about King but also my undergraduate civil rights and antiwar activism, which led me to appreciate the importance of grassroots political activity as well as visionary leadership in the African-American freedom struggle. My first book, In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s, published in 1981, is a study of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the most dynamic and innovative civil rights organization. In Struggle won the Organization of American Historians' Frederick Jackson Turner Award. My other publications include Malcolm X: The FBI File (1991). I also co-authored African American Lives: The Struggle for Freedom (2005), a comprehensive survey of African-American history.

In addition to The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., my other works based on the papers include The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1998), compiled from the King's autobiographical writings, A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. (1998), and A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (2001).

My writings also include a play, "Passages of Martin Luther King," which was initially produced by Stanford's Drama Department in 1993, and subsequently performed at Dartmouth College, Willamette University, the Claremont Colleges, the University of Washington, Tacoma, St. Petersburg, and other places. On June 21, 2007, the National Theatre of China performed the international premiere of "Passages" at the Beijing Oriental Pioneer Theatre, and full houses viewed the four subsequent performances of the first drama to bring together Chinese actors and African-American gospel singers. During March and April 2011, the Palestinian National Theater "Al Hakawati" presented the first Arabic production of "Passages" in East Jerusalem, with additional performances in the West Bank communities of Jenin, Nablus, Bethlehem, Hebron, Tulkarem, and Ramallah.

In addition to my books and scholarly writings publications, I have tried to bring my research and King's ideas to broader public attention. I was a senior historical advisor for a fourteen-part, award-winning, public television series on the civil rights movement entitled "Eyes on the Prize" and co-edited the Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader (1991). In addition, I served as historical advisor for "Freedom on My Mind," which was nominated for an Oscar in 1995, as well as for "Chicano!" (1996), "Blacks and Jews" (1997), "Citizen King" (2004), "Negroes with Guns: Rob Williams and Black Power" (2005), and "Have You Heard from Johannesburg?" (2010) a multipart documentary about the international campaign against apartheid in South Africa.

I collaborated with the Roma Design Group of San Francisco to create the winning proposal in an international competition to design the King National Memorial in Washington, D. C., and I have served as an advisor to the King National Memorial Foundation.

In my various roles, I travel throughout the world. In addition to many European nations, I have been to China (three times), India (twice), Israel and the West Bank (four times), Kenya, Zanzibar, Tanzania, South Africa, Senegal, Morocco, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, and a number of Caribbean islands.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Eric V. Moye on April 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
I think that this book is a valued companion to Taylor Branch's epic work "Parting the Waters". Together, they make an unbeatable pair of study aids for one of America's most turbulent periods.
While P.T.W. is a more dispassionate third person chronicle, E.O.T.P. is more personally driven. It brings to life individuals like Bayard Rustin, Stokley Carmichael, John Lewis and other giants (known and obscure) of the movement. Events from the Till lynching to the Attica riots as seen through the eyes of those on the scene (sometimes, those making the scene).
Fascinating reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. J. Kwashnak VINE VOICE on June 29, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When you get involved in studying political events and movements, ultimately there is going to be some disagreement on interpretations. While the Civil Righs Movement has suffered less revisionist history than many events of the last century, it is still valuable to go to the source documents and read about events in the words of those who participated in history or who made history. I agree that this book works well in tandem with another more narrative history, such as Eyes on the Prize, or Partin the Waters. But the compilers have done an excellent job of grouping by topics, with clear introductions putting the pieces that follow into proper place. I was surprised - I feared that this would be more dry of a read than it was. Instead I found myself pulled along, especially by some riveting first hand accounts of events such as the Attica riots. Another big plus for the book is that it brings the documents and the struggles into the 1980's, when first published. Many books ont he Civil Rights Movement cover until 1965, or 1968, this one keeps events in the 1970's and 80's relevant to what came before. I highly recommend this for anyone who is looking to feel as if they were there for these struggles, and understand our history.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a great book to get get a background on the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950's and 60's. I read it when I began trying to learn about the CRM and some of the key players.
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Format: Paperback
I took a history of civil rights course in college, and this book was one of the required reading materials. I started reading it and couldn't put it down. I liked how the author included first hand accounts from individuals who actually lived during the civil rights movement. Before I read this book I only knew about two civil rights leaders- MLK Jr. and Malcolm X. I learned about other leaders and organizations such as Thurgood Marshall, SCLC, SNCC, and CORE. This is a must read because it will open your eyes to the civil rights struggle.
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By Bloke on February 25, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great resource of civil rights documents. This should be read as a supplement to the Eyes on the Prize documentary series. It contains fourteen chapters that go with the fourteen episodes. Each chapter contains a wealth of writings that complement each episode.
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This is a great book. All the key points in the Civil Rights Movements, in easy to understand chronological and historical format. Great for teachers and students alike. Commands attention, and enlightens discussions. I would highly recommend it to all.
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By khulan benato on February 3, 2013
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Whoever taking history of civil rights movement need to read this book, this has very important materials that can actually make you emphasize what has happened in those years. My book came in great condition.
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By Carlos on May 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every page is enlightening. I especially loved Malcolm X's "Message to the Grassroots".

Overall a great reference book, one I expect to stay relevant longer than I will.
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