EYES ON THE PRIZE is the quintessential, Award-Winning documentary series on the Civil Rights Movement, illuminating the ongoing struggle for racial equality, and social justice. Created and executively produced by the late Henry Hampton (1940-1998) and Blackside, Inc., the series uses true-life stories to inform viewers on the landmark events of The Civil Rights Movement. The 14-part documentary series Eyes on the Prize ran during primetime on PBS and BBC stations in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
The series garnered international acclaim, winning more than 20 major awards, and attracting over 20 million viewers. In partnership with Blackside, MPC aims to create a dramatic limited series based on the footage and real characters from Eyes on the Prize.
“While the headlines of racial violence are frightening, nothing is more disturbing than to listen to young men and women who appear to have no sense of what brought us to where we are. How can you enter the debate if you fail to consider what has happened?”
–Henry E. Hampton Jr., VOICES OF FREEDOM 1990
Before police brutality was filmed on a smart phone cameras, and subsequently hash-tagged, Henry Hampton and his team at Blackside, the largest African American-owned film production company of its time, captured and collected some of the most brutal and truthful moments.
Eyes on the Prize involves individuals that we won’t read about in history books. In addition to the documentary series and its companion book, VOICES OF FREEDOM: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950’s-1980’s, we have access to the greatest collection of archival footage that exists on the subject. The materials used to create Blackside’s films are archived at Washington University in Missouri. The 35,000-plus items in the Henry Hampton Collection include films and videotapes (570 hours of original footage and 730 hours of stock footage), photographs, scripts, storyboards, producers’ notes, interviews, music, narration, posters, study guides, books, and other materials.
Audiences are given an accessible, contemporary, and exciting way to explore this important period in American history. With the creative freedom of a narrative series, meet the young heroes who fought racism on the front lines. There are many untold, compelling, fascinating characters and stories—the dramatic possibilities are endless. We would like to start using Volume One of the series. The success of Eyes on the Prize has evolved far beyond the 1960’s, into the current essential dialogue on race, leadership, and justice in this country.