Eyes on the Prize: Then and Now

WED, FEB 10, 2016 (1:36:56)

Almost three decades after WGBH first presented Henry Hampton's Eyes on the Prize to the nation, WORLD Channel began rebroadcasting the 14-part documentary in January 2016. WGBH and WORLD look back at the landmark civil rights series with clips from the original and from Eyes on the Prize: Then and Now, a special examining the series' impact on a new generation of viewers.

Moderated by WGBH News Senior Reporter Phillip Martin, the panel discussion includes Judy Richardson, Eyes on the Prize Associate Producer and Education Director, and Melissa Nobles, Kenan Sahin Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at MIT.

+ BIO: Phillip Martin

Phillip Martin's series, The Color Initiative, examines complex global issues on politics, culture, history, and society, through the lens of human perceptions and experiences related to color, and has been featured on 89.7 WGBH's The World, which airs weekdays at 3 and 6pm.

+ 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.

+ BIO: Melissa Nobles

Melissa Nobles is Associate Professor of Political Science. Professor Nobles teaching and research interests are in the comparative study of racial and ethnic politics, and issues of retrospective justice.

Her book, Shades of Citizenship: Race and the Census in Modern Politics (2000), examines the political origins and consequences of racial categorization in demographic censuses in the United States and Brazil. The Politics of Official Apologies, (2008), comparatively examines the political uses of official apologies in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. It explores why minority groups demand such apologies and why governments give them (or not).

Nobles holds a BA in history from Brown University and an MA and PhD in political science from Yale University. Shades of Citizenship received the Outstanding Book Award for 2001 from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, as well as an Honorable Mention for the Ralph Bunch Book Award from the American Political Science Association. Nobles has also been a Fellow at Boston University's Institute on Race and Social Division (2000-01) and Harvard University's Radcliffe Center for Advanced Study (2003-04).

African Culture Series
Eyes on the Prize
Civil Rights Movement Series