Eyes on the Prize I Interviews

Eyes on the Prize is a 14-part series which was originally released in two parts: Eyes I in 1987 and Eyes II in 1990. This series, which debuted on PBS stations, is considered to be the definitive documentary on the Civil Rights Movement. “Eyes on the Prize” won more than twenty major awards and attracted over 20 million viewers.

This exhibit includes all 127 interviews that were made for the first series subtitled “America’s Civil Right Years 1954-1965." The interviews are part of the Henry Hampton Collection housed at the Film and Media Archive at Washington University Libraries. Each transcript represented the entire interview conducted by Blackside including sections which appeared in the final program and the outtakes. For more information, on the various formats of each interview, please contact Andy Uhrich, theCurator of Film and Media, or the general Special Collections email.

During the 1950’s and 1960’s, America fought a second revolution to secure not only the “inalienable rights” and the equal treatment of individuals under law, but also, to provide “liberty and justice” for black Americans as well as white. Through contemporary interviews and historical footage, Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Right Years 1954-1965 tells, in six one-hour episodes, the human stories of a movement for social change.

This project was funded thanks to financial support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The original 16mm film negatives were scanned and digitized to create HD-quality files while the original 1/4" audio reels were digitized to create WAV files. These preservation level files were reassembled to create intermediate and access mp4 files at the Film & Media Archive.