American Experience: Eyes on the Prize

TUE, SEP 26, 2006 (38:37)

WGBH hosts a preview screening of part one of the American Experience: Eyes on the Prize series and a panel discussion with Coolidge Corner Theater audience members. The evening also includes a special performance by a group of Berklee students who welcome the audience with "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize," the theme song for the series.

American Experience: Eyes on the Prize is an award-winning 14-hour television series produced by Blackside and narrated by Julian Bond. Through contemporary interviews and historical footage, the series covers all of the major events of the civil rights movement from 1954-1985.

+ BIO: Judi Hampton

Judith D. Hampton is an adjunct faculty member for the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University. Ms. Hampton holds a bachelor of science degree from Columbia University and a master's degree from Hunter College. She has over thirty years of experience as an entrepreneur, trainer, seminar leader, facilitator, and university teacher. Ms. Hampton is also a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and guest lecturer.

Ms. Hampton is now president of Judi Hampton Public Relations, a full-service firm with clients that include major corporations, institutions, health-care organizations, universities, and government agencies. In this capacity, she designs and executes marketing, publicity, and communications programs for clients.

Ms. Hampton serves as President of the Board of Directors of Blackside, Inc., which has produced Eyes on the Prize and other award-winning documentaries on American historical and social issues for public television.

+ BIO: Judith Vecchione

Judith Vecchione has contributed to many major documentary series, including Nova, American Experience, Vietnam: A Television History, and Frontline.

She won an Emmy and a Red Ribbon at the American Film Festival for her work on Vietnam, and was Series Senior Producer and Producer of the first two programs of the critically acclaimed documentary series Eyes on the Prize. She has been Executive Producer for a number of award-winning national PBS documentary series, including Americas, 10 hours of programming on Latin America and the Caribbean; The China Trilogy ("China in Revolution," "The Mao Years," and "Born Under the Red Flag"); a three-part international coproduction, De Gaulle and France; and a six-part series on women scientists today, Discovering Women.

She has produced specials, including "Fire Wars," which aired on Nova, and "Tug of War: The Story of Taiwan"; and she was Executive Producer for the film biographies Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary Pickford (for American Experience), and for China in the Red and Young & Restless in China (for Frontline.) She was also WGBH's Executive Producer for Martin Scorsese's multi-platform series, The Blues.

Her programs have won awards from American Women in Radio and Television, the Chicago Film Festival, the Columbus International Film and Video Festival, the USrrr International Film and Video Festival, as well as the George Foster Peabody Award, three Christopher Awards and four CINE Golden Eagles, among others.

In addition to her programming responsibilities, Vecchione is Executive Director for the Producers Workshops at WGBH, an initiative of CPB and PBS that has trained more than 150 national and regional producers, from public broadcasting stations and from the independent community, over the past eight years. Workshop participants have come from 40 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico; 48% of the Workshoppers have been minorities. Projects in development include an ITVS-funded special on Latino civil rights after World War II, The Battle After the War (working title), and films on Johnny Cash and on public health.

+ BIO: Judy Richardson

Film producer and former SNCC activist Judy Richardson was born to autoworker William King Richardson and seamstress Mae Louise Tucker Richardson in Tarrytown, New York. Richardson grew up in the "under the hill" section of Tarrytown. Her father helped organize the United Auto Workers (UAW) local at the Chevrolet plant in Tarrytown and died "on the line" when she was seven years old. Richardson graduated from Sleepy Hollow High School in 1962 and was accepted to Swarthmore College on a full, four-year scholarship. Later, Richardson would also attend Columbia University, Howard University and Antioch College.

In 1968, Richardson and other former SNCC staffers founded Drum and Spear Bookstore in Washington, D.C. It became the largest Black bookstore in the country. She was also Children's Editor of Drum & Spear Press. In 1970, she wrote an essay on racism in Black children's books, published by Howard University's Journal of Negro Education. In 1979, Richardson began working with Henry Hampton/Blackside Productions on an early version of what became the Eyes On The Prize series. Major production for that Academy Award-nominated, six-hour PBS series began in 1986, and she became researcher and content advisor. For Eyes On The Prize II, the subsequent eight-hour series, she was Series Associate Producer. Richardson later co-produced Blackside's 1994 Emmy and Peabody Award-winning documentary, Malcolm X: Make It Plain.

Currently a senior producer for Northern Light Productions in Boston, Richardson produces historical documentaries for broadcast and museums, with a focus on African American historical events, including: a one-hour documentary on the 1968 Orangeburg Massacre (South Carolina) for PBS; two History Channel documentaries on slavery and slave resistance; and installations for, among others, the National Park Service's Little Rock Nine Visitor's Center, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati), the New York State Historical Society's "Slavery in New York" exhibit, and the Paul Laurence Dunbar House (Dayton). Richardson has also edited, with five other SNCC women, Hands on the Freedom Plow: The Personal Testimonies of Women in SNCC. Richardson is the recipient of an Image Award for Vision and Excellence from Women in Film and Video. She lectures, writes and conducts professional development workshops for teachers about the history and values of the Civil Rights Movement and their relevance to issues we face today.

WGBH Forum Network
Civil Rights Movement Series
Filmmakers Series