One of the essential documentary series from 20th-century television, Eyes on the Prize
is an extraordinary, grassroots history of the civil rights movement in 1950s and '60s America. Leaving punditry and debate to others, this six-hour program concerns itself with the individuals who were there, who participated on the front lines, who witnessed and survived to tell about the crusade's tragedies and victories. Starting with a pair of mid-'50s heroic actions in the South that helped galvanize black and white activism against institutional racism (actions that included Rosa Parks's refusal to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama), the series winds its way through the exponential growth of the movement to the passage of the Voting Rights Act and beyond. The epochal battle between states-rights advocates and federal authorities is well-covered, as are the many sacrifices made and enormous risks taken by Mississippi Freedom Riders and advocates of black voter registration. --Tom Keogh
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. Winner of numerous awards, Eyes on the Prize
is the most critically acclaimed documentary on civil rights in America.