Emory Report
October 2, 2006
Volume 59, Number 6


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October 2, 2006
Emory supports landmark civil rights documentary's return to television

BY kim urquhart

“Eyes on the Prize,” the critically acclaimed series chronicling the civil rights movement, returns to Atlanta’s PBS station this month, with Emory serving as a gold sponsor.

A promotional spot will feature Provost Earl Lewis as well as Delores Aldridge, Grace Towns Hamilton Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, and Robert Franklin, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Social Ethics, urging viewers to tune in Oct. 5, 12 and 19.

Emory’s support of “Eyes on the Prize” fits the University’s strategic theme of understanding race and difference, Lewis said. The series is the centerpiece of a month-long programming and community awareness initiative by Public Broadcasting Atlanta with support from community partners. “Working with PBA and Public Broadcasting is one way to establish strategic alliances,” Lewis said, another important aspect of the University’s mission.

“Emory’s support of the documentary underscores its commitment to having this story told from the perspectives of men and women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that transformed the American scene,” Aldridge said. “The impact of this powerful struggle for social justice continues to be felt today in every walk of life for all Americans.

“African Americans at Emory have made contributions to the transformation of this institution, as well as having served as pioneers in the larger American and world scene,” said Aldridge. “The university community should take pride in this heritage.”

The six episodes document the events, issues, triumphs and tragedies that marked the civil rights era. Produced by the late Henry Hampton and first broadcast in 1987, “Eyes on the Prize” includes landmark events such as the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott of 1955-56 as well as the workings of the movement on the grass-roots level.

Franklin noted the importance of understanding the role that African American churches and clergy played in the civil rights movement. He said that Emory’s Candler School of Theology “endeavors to respond to [Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s] call for clergy who serve the common good and who respect all faith traditions.”

“Eyes on the Prize” airs on PBA 30 Thursdays, Oct. 5, 12 and 19 from 8–10 p.m. as part of “American Experience.”