In this monumental volume, Henry Hampton, creator and executive producer of the acclaimed PBS series Eyes on the Prize, and Steve Fayer, series writer, draw upon nearly one thousand interviews with civil rights activists, politicians, reporters, Justice Department officials, and hundreds of ordinary people who took part in the struggle, weaving a fascinating narrative of the civil rights movement told by the people who lived it.
Join brave and terrified youngsters walking through a jeering mob and up the steps of Central High School in Little Rock. Listen to the vivid voices of the ordinary people who manned the barricades, the laborers, the students, the housewives without whom there would have been no civil rights movements at all.
This remarkable oral history brings to life country's great struggle for civil rights as no conventional narrative can. You will hear the voices of those who defied the blackjacks, who went to jail, who witnessed and policed the movement; of those who stood for and against it—voices from the heart of America.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Preface: Toward a More Perfect Union
1. Emmett Till, 1955: “I Wanted the Whole World to See”
2. The Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955-6: “Like a Revival Starting”
3. The Little Rock Crisis, 1957-58: “I Had Cracked the Wall”
4. Student Sit-ins in Nashville, 1960: “A Badge of Honor”
5. Freedom Rides, 1961: “Sticks and Bricks”
6. Albany, Georgia, 1961-2: “The Mother Lode”
7. James Meredity Enters Ole Miss, 1962: “Things Would Never Be the Same”
8. Birmingham, 1963: “Something Has Got to Change”
9. Organizing in Mississippi, 1961-3: “The Reality of What We Were Doing Hit Me”
10. The March on Washington, 1963: “They Voted with Their Feet”
11. The Sixteenth Street Church Bombing, 1963: “You Realized How Intense the Opposition Was”
12. Mississippi Freedom Summer, 1964: “Representation and the Right to Participate” 13. Selma, 1965: “Troopers, Advance”
14. Malcolm X (1925-1965): “Our Own Black Shining Prince!”
15. The Lowndes County Freedom Organization, 1965-6: “Vote for the Panther, Then Go Home”
16. The Meredith March, 1966: “Hit Them Now”
17. Chicago, 1966: “Chicago Was a Symbol”
18. Muhammad Ali, 1964-7 “His Philosophy Made It Impossible Not to Take a Stand”
20. Birth of the Black Panthers, 1966-7: “We Wanted Control!”
21. Detroit, 1967: “Inside of Most Black People There Was a Time Bomb”
22. The Election of Carl Stokes, 1967: “We Had to Be Organized”
23. Howard University, 1967-8: “You Saw the Silhouette of Her Afro”
24. King’s Last Crusade, 1967-8: “We’ve Got Some Difficult Days Ahead”
25. Resurrection City, 1968: “The End of a Major Battle”
26. Ocean Hill-Brownsville, 1967-8: “Everything Became More Political”
27. The Black Panthers, 1968-9: “How Serious and Deadly the Game”
28. Attica and Prisoners’ Rights, 1971: “There’s Always Time to Die”
29. The Gary Convention, 1972: “Unity Without Uniformity”
30. Busing in Boston, 1974-6: “As if Some Alien Was Coming into the School”
31. Atlanta and Affirmative Action, 1973-80: “The Politics of Inclusion”
Epilogue: From Miami to America’s Future
For Further Reading
“Eyes on the Prize”
Project Staff and Funders
About Henry Hampton
Henry Hampton, who died in 1998, was the creator and executive producer of Eyes on the Prize, one of more than 40 film projects he developed with his company Blackside, Inc., the largest African-American-owned film production company of its time. Hampton became one of the world's most respected documentary filmmakers as he chronicled the 20th century's great political and social movements, focusing on the lives of the poor and disenfranchised.
About Steve Fayer
Steve Fayer was the series writer for Eyes on the Prize.
"Something much greater than the sum if its parts, a taut and vivid narrative on an epic scale--compelling--marvelously diverse.
— Los Angeles Times
"A vast choral pageant that recounts the momentous work of t he civil rights struggle."
— The New York Times Book Review
"Utterly fascinating. Voices of Freedom tells the greatest American story ever told. These voices are extraordinary. So is the book."
— Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides
"Through the words of the victims, the villains, and the victorious, who together changed the course of America's sadly racist history. Voices of Freedom gives us the opportunity to glimpse the shining spirits of our heroic people, black and white, female and male, often through chuckles and often through tears."
—Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple