Growing up after the civil rights movement removed Chris Hastings, executive producer of WORLD Channel, from any firsthand experiences of that era. Instead, the bulk of his knowledge came from books and documentaries such as Eyes on the Prize. Hastings has now helped ensure this landmark documentary’s return to television for a new generation.
The ambitious opus, created by the late Henry Hampton, captured three decades of the Civil Rights Movement, from the murder of Emmett Till to passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to the historic election of Harold Washington as Chicago’s first black mayor in 1983. Part one debuted in 1987, with the second part following in 1990.
After years off-air due to expensive licensing costs, the documentary returns as a time when race relations are once again at the center of the nation’s conversation on social justice issues. To draw out these parallels between the Civil Rights Movement and today’s Black Lives Matter movement, WORLD Channel created the all-new special, Eyes on the Prize: Then and Now.
“Eyes on the Prize captures a very recent American history,” said Hastings. “Spending time with Eyes on the Prize provides a great context for how far we have come as a country and is a reminder we have not gone too far, that history really was just yesterday.”
The WORLD Channel special airs on Saturday, February 7. Visit WORLD Channel’s schedule for more information.
The weekly column, On the “A” w/Souleo, covers the intersection of the arts, culture entertainment and philanthropy in Harlem and beyond and is written by Souleo, founder and president of event/media content production company, Souleo Enterprises, LLC.