Eyes on the Prize: Then and Now


  • Today's Civil Rights Activists: Bree Newsome

    Arrested for taking down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina State House grounds in 2015, Bree Newsome describes how she became an activist, in this video from Eyes on the Prize: Then and Now. When Newsome first watched the Eyes on the Prize documentary series at age 13, she was struck by seeing young people in leadership roles organizing for change through voter registration drives and other activism. While she has always been politically conscious, Newsome says the Trayvon Martin case forced her from the sidelines and into the streets. She describes her own iconic moment, like Rosa Parks’ before her, as deliberately intended to capture attention and focus the conversation on human rights. This resource is part of the Civil Rights: Then and Now collection.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Civil Rights Activist John Lewis: Looking Back

    Student activist Jonathan Butler and Congressman John Lewis sit down to discuss the Eyes on the Prize series and the Civil Rights Movement in this video from Eyes on the Prize: Then and Now. Lewis reflects on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery protest march. Shortly after the march began, Alabama State troopers met the marchers with violence as they crossed Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge. Lewis also describes experiences from his childhood and youth, when he began to question segregation and other inequalities, and first got involved in nonviolent direct action. Lewis offers this advice for today’s student activists: study the lessons of the early Civil Rights Movement and speak out whenever you see injustice. This resource is part of the Civil Rights: Then and Now collection.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Black Lives Matter: Campaigning for Racial Justice

    Learn about the origins, objectives, and makeup of Black Lives Matter, an activist black youth-led movement that campaigns against police brutality and other forms of racism, in this video from Eyes on the Prize: Then and Now. The movement, which grew from “a love note to black people” that appeared on social media, attracts a broad range of social justice supporters. Its key objectives include building up the black community, electoral politics, revisiting Civil Rights-era ideas like freedom schools, and expanding the conversation beyond U.S. borders. Co-founder Patrisse Cullors calls today’s civil rights movement a human rights movement, aimed at countering anti-black racism globally. This resource is part of the Civil Rights: Then and Now collection.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Civil Rights: Internet Activism and Social Change

    Examine social media’s influence in America’s Civil Rights movement and its role in democratizing the media, in this video from Eyes on the Prize: Then and Now. Activists, including DeRay McKesson, use social media to support the work of social change protesters. Because communications are unmediated and occur in real time, McKesson says, social media can help build community. Tamika Mallory calls social media a powerful asset, enabling people who have never met before to share information and support one another’s efforts. Bree Newsome points out that without social media, people might not even have heard of important cases—including those of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, and Sandra Bland. This resource is part of the Civil Rights: Then and Now collection.

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Civil Rights Landscape Today for People of Color

    Discover ways in which systemic inequality persists today in the lives of people of color, women, and those living in both urban and rural areas, in this video from Eyes on the Prize: Then and Now. Many communities have been denied quality affordable housing, and a rapidly growing wealth gap disproportionately impacts communities of color and other ethnic minorities. While some progress has been made, one young activist states that skin color and where a child lives can predict whether he or she is more likely to end up in prison or in a career. Another activist credits Black Lives Matters movement with directing needed focus on ending racial profiling and police brutality. This resource is part of the Civil Rights: Then and Now collection.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Al Sharpton: The Road to Racial Justice

    Al Sharpton expresses his thoughts on racial equality in America and describes the challenge today’s activists face in order to organize for—and sustain—real change, in this video from Eyes on the Prize: Then and Now. Sharpton recognizes the frustration and anger that many black Americans share because their access to voting rights, criminal justice, and economic opportunity has been restricted. He also acknowledges that some progress has been made, comparing today’s world with that experienced by earlier civil rights organizers. While Sharpton commends the excitement exhibited by today’s young activists, he highlights the need to create a sustainable long-term movement. This resource is part of the Civil Rights: Then and Now collection.

    Grades: 9-12

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