Copyright 1995 ABC-CLIO. This review was taken from the ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries on CD-ROM, a 5-year compilation of over 8900 video titles and reviews, 1990-1994. For information regarding order VRGL CD-ROM, contact: ABC-CLIO, P.O. Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911; 805-968-1911

This following text has been included in the UCB Media Resources Center Web site with the kind permission of the publishers.

Eyes on the Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads, 1965-1985

  • The Time Has Come (1964-1966)
  • Two Societies (1965-1968)
  • Power! (1966-1968)
  • The Promised Land (1967-1968)
  • Ain't Gonna Shuffle No More (1964-1972)
  • A Nation of Law? (1968-1971)
  • Keys to the Kingdom (1974-1980)
  • Back to the Movement (1979-mid-1980's)
  • Rating: *****
  • Audience: Jr. High to Adult
  • Price: Public performance: $59.95 Series (public): $395.00
  • Date: Copyright 1989. Released 1990.
  • Descriptors: United States - History - 20th century. Blacks - History. Civil rights movement - History.
  • Production Information: Live action, Archival footage, Film transfer. Produced by Henry Hampton. Color. Includes Guide. Closed captioned. 60, 60, 60, 60, 60, 60, 60, 60 min.
  • Production Company: Blackside, Inc.
  • Available from: PBS Video 1320 Braddock Pl. Alexandria, VA 22314-1698 (703)739-5380
  • Cataloging: ||Afro-Americans - Civil rights
  • Print Entry #: 1:1881
  • Reviewer: Robert Pearce

    Eyes on the Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads, is a monumentally successful video achievement. With eyewitness accounts, archival film footage, government documents, and excellent retrospect interviewing, Eyes on the Prize II chronicles the African-American's human rights struggle in the United States from 1965 to 1985. This struggle, referred to as "the movement," is examined through eight individual episodes of approximately one hour each. Each episode critically examines a combination of topic, issue, individual, or organization, and the effect each element had on the momentum and direction of the civil rights movement. These programs not only seize the opportunity to explore many of the movement's traditional aspects (marches, boycotts, voting, organized protests, etc.), they take reportage two steps further. The aggressive coverage of events rarely discussed makes this series a truly meritorious accomplishment.

    An example is the episode "A Nation of Law?," covering the FBI's infiltration of the Black Panther Party via an informant. This action resulted in the 1968 assassination in Chicago of two key party members. When these facts and the attempted cover-up by the police are retold, information is presented so clearly that the viewer is made to feel the same emotions as the people who were involved. Every episode is presented equally well, in concise and effective language, making Eyes on the Prize II appropriate for audiences from junior high through high school, college, and adult group levels.

    The content of the programs is excellent. Organizational structure is solid and authoritative. Many events are very painstakingly retold through a potent mixture of narrative, archival film footage, and excellent interviews with participants. Through the eight episodes, we are introduced to a variety of the people and the conditions that shaped much of the movement. In general the episodes are very creative and sustain strong viewer interest from beginning to end.

    The approximate running time of one hour per episode will make this series ideal for classroom use. A guidebook is included and it gives a good overview of each episode.

    The technical level of these productions is very high. This is no easy achievement, considering the variety of film and still photographs that had to be successfully combined. The editing is smoothly done and the camerawork on many of the interviews is excellent. The gospel theme song, "Eyes on the Prize," accurately reflects the emotional intensity of the movement, as does other theme music used. The audio is clear and understandable. Titles are easily recognizable and readable.

    Recommended without reservation, this collection of programs is dynamic, far-reaching, and invaluable, and would serve as a tremendous enhancement for any library.

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