Landmark Documentary 'Eyes on the Prize' Reframed the Civil Rights Movement

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Sheriff Jim Clark rousts Mrs. Amelia Boynton in front of the Selma, Alabama courthouse on February 1965. (Photo: Courtesy of Jon Else)

When Henry Hampton marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965, he witnessed clashes between police and marchers. Those moments inspired Hampton to create the 1987 documentary television series "Eyes on the Prize," widely considered to be the quintessential film account of the civil rights movement. Series producer Jon Else says Hampton was determined "to put the ordinary, Southern black folks into the forefront of their own story." In his new book “True South,” filmmaker and UC Berkeley journalism professor Else recounts the making of the film and its role in educating America about the civil rights movement.


Jon Else, author, "True South: Henry Hampton and Eyes on the Prize"; series producer, "Eyes on the Prize"; professor, UC Berkeley Journalism School