Eyes on the Prize
Read Others' Views: Who Are Your Heroes?

Do you have a personal hero in the struggle for civil rights? Is it someone close to you? Someone from your neighborhood or town? A famous figure? Or someone less well known? What is that person's story, and why do you see him or her as a hero?

Send in your thoughts -- and we'll post them here. You can also read a series of reflections on the era.

My hero is Jesus, Lord and Savior of the world. It was Jesus who guided, influenced and used the civil right leaders and groups who fought for freedom and justice. Jesus is perfect, holy, and good. He will never fail us and He is answer to all of our problems.

Rei M.
Baltimore, MD

Frederick Leonard is one of my heroes from this documentary. I've tried to get some current history on him but haven't found a thing. I'm hoping someone connected with this or the participants can tell me what happened to him: is he still alive? Where is he?

Thank you,

Quanah, Texas

Of all the people who made a difference in the Civil Rights Movement, one person stands out for me -- Ruby Bridges. She integrated a school not as an adult like James Meredith or as a teenager like the Little Rock Nine, but as a six year old girl. I admire the courage that little girl had, in the face of protests and death threats. She was a remarkable child and became a remarkable woman.

Memphis, Tennessee

Ms. Brown,
I just want to thank you so much for writing your memories. I'm very much feeling the limit of words to express my feelings, reading what you wrote and having watched the PBS "Eyes On The Prize" tonight. I guess all I can say is that your writing and the PBS television program MATTER; they were very important to me.
Thank you very much.


Death of Carl Hampton, member of Houston Chapter, Black Panther Party; he was a classmate of mine. We grew up in a segregated country and system that did then and continues now to perpetuate the same doctrine. Only now it is done covertly. I am a Vietnam Veteran & Purple Heart Recipient and the worst thing to happen to me was integration. Heroes are Jesus, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Carter G. Woodson and all the brothers and sisters who gave their lives. And America wonders why it has a terrorist attack. Look at what you have done to all the nations of the world prior to 911. Malcolm said it when President Kennedy got assassinated, "Chickens Come Home To Roost."

Robert McDaniel
Houston, Texas

This was so informative and educational. I really appreciate the sacrifices that were made for me as a black person. This should be mandated to be taught in the history books, and public schools. Yes it is painful to watch for blacks and whites but this is history and it did happen. A lot of people try to act like it did not happen. I especially feel all immigrants need to watch this so they can see the sacrifices that were made. A lot of Americans need to see this so these prejudices can be exposed; because some of these behaviors still carry on and are passed down from generation to generation.

I thank God for the (black people, colored people, negros) who took a stand for equal rights to be able to sit on the bus, schools; to put a stop to segregation; go in restaurants, hotels, drink from the same water fountain, same court house, rest rooms, live in the same neighborhoods.

I thank God I was able to go to integrated schools, integrated colleges, and live in such a lovely neighborhood as Weston, Florida. I thank my forefathers for their personal labor and sacrifices.

Carol Weech
Weston, Florida

Thank you for re-broadcasting the Eyes on the Prize series this fall. I was 10 years old when it first appeared in the late '80s -- and I remember asking my parents a train-load of questions about the images of both hate and courage that I saw on TV. Being able to see and hear from legends of the civil rights era like Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks is all the more important because of their recent deaths. I recently learned that my own father had ventured from his college in New York state to Selma, AL to take part in the third and finally successful march from Selma to Birmingham in 1965. In a few more decades, the inspiring events of the Civil Rights era will recede from actual memories to pages of history -- and become as mythically elusive as the words of Abraham Lincoln, or the actions of our Founding Fathers. The Eyes on the Prize documentary, however, will help preserve that very important time in American history. Thank you.

Jason Stevenson
Emmaus, Pennsylvania

My two heroes are:
Martin Luther King Jr.
Malcolm X
Strong, devoted and powerful black men.

Michelle Williams
Suitland, Maryland

My heroes are the ones that laid the path for the civil liberties that the people of color have today. Martin Luther King, Leonard Peltier, Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez

E. M.
Shawnee, Oklahoma

Black People, when will we stop letting people of other races, especially white people, determine who our heroes are or should be? And when will we stop voting for people based on the color of their skin? There are people with black pigment that proudly proclaim, "I am a Republican." From my perspective these people are traitors to our race, the poor and the outcast of the American People and should be treated as such!

My heroes are too numerous to name and come in all races. They are people that have paid the ultimate price for the so called "African American" that came across the Atlantic Ocean in the belly of slave ships to survive. My heroes include: Harriet Tubman, John Brown, Malcolm X, Dr. Robert Young, Willie Long, Judge Bernadine Young, Abner "Pap" Brown, Stokely Carmichael, Revs. J.J. Rector and Claude Black, H. Rap Brown and Mrs. Izola Tyler. This is my short list.

Rev. Jimmy D. Brown
Warren, Michigan

Has there been research regarding the woman who led the female student away during the enrollment in Little Rock? She displayed a lot courage!

Dallas, Texas

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