Eyes on the Prize
Read Others' Views: Civil/Human Rights Today

The quest for social justice continues to this day, and includes many people and movements. What is the legacy of the civil rights struggle that began in the 1950s? In your opinion, how just is our society? Or what do you think are the biggest injustices in America today? What trends in civil and human rights concern you, in the U.S. or worldwide?

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

Why as blacks is our eye still on the prize, so to speak? We were brought here almost from the very beginning of America to work, to fight, and to die. But we still do not have equal rights, or equal justice under the law! I urge blacks who have become complacent, to exercise their voting rights to bring this about.

Kay F. Waters
Salt Lake City, Utah

I can't understand why in 2006 Blacks have to have a voting rights act. It should be a law. It shouldn't be something that can be debated every 25 or 30 years. Our government has our military in Iraq fighting for the freedom of the Iraqi people when blacks in America are still treated wrong.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

I think the issue never left but manifests in new packages. Today we see the Invasion of Iraq juxtaposed by the conditions of Black people in New Orleans and massive Black youth incarceration fueled by years of structural racist policies in this country. To top it off we also see the continuing human rights violation resulting from xenophobic immigrant policies that prefer to build 8ft walls on the border instead of building levees to protect poor folks from intense man-made hurricanes. The relentless violence promoted by US foreign policy drives poor masses to migrate from third world countries, while within the US border, the most disenfranchised Blacks, Latinos, and API folks suffer the worst policies of discrimination and exploitation. It's good that public TV shows an important documentary such as Eyes on the Prize, so that we learn from history of struggle.

S. Y.
Los Angeles, California

"The movement" in part has inspired today's migration.{People of color} are still experiencing segregation and prejudice in America. I myself am "indigenous" to North America and I am daily subjected to the ignorance of prejudice in Minnesota.

Pete Palma
St. Paul, Minnesota

P.S. Thanks to programming of PBS. We have a chance to overcome adversity.

As I watched the program I found myself asking "where was I?" And I begin to understand why it seems the young people of today are not "aware" of what is happening. In the first hour, during the 50's I was a new immigrant to the U.S. My family had moved here, I was 12 years old. We did not have a TV where I came from (could not afford one). During the 60's I was somewhat aware of the "problem" in the South, but I had no idea it was as bad as it was. Shame on me? Maybe but I was young and just not "paying attention" That is my point, we all need to "pay attention" to what is happening or the young of today will also sit, in their "older" years and say "where was I?"


The civil rights movement shows that in American freedom is for all not just one group of people.

S. K.
Durham, North Carolina

P.S. I Thank god for the March on Washington, D.C. We are still fighting for some rights in American today. Can we show some of unjust things in the South today?

Although there has been some improvement for African Americans, they are still the one group in America that suffers the most from racism and oppression. Being a legal emigrant of African descent, I was shocked at the daily injustices that "Black Americans" are forced to endure in the land of their birth. In such a wealthy American nation that African people helped to make wealthy through their forced enslavement, today, African Americans are largely left out of the "prosperity plan" of American politicians. Their human rights and civil rights continue to be trampled upon, and they continue to suffer the legacy of slavery, racism, discrimination and "economic lynching." These opinions of mine, are also unfortunately held by other enlightened people of African descent from around the world. Other caring individuals of other "races" have also become painfully aware of the fact, that America is still divided by racism, class and social injustices. Too many people refuse to acknowledge the problem, and therefore, it becomes more difficult to solve. Until we face the true history and meaning of the Civil Rights Movement, the racial problems in America, will continue to worsen.

Atlanta, Georgia

The young people of today do not understand the movement that took place during that time frame. Something has been lost since the civil rights movement. It is seen in the generation of today with the crimes that are committed by blacks since that day when we had to fight for the rights we have today.

It cannot be blamed on the white society anymore, but on us for the problems with the black race today. Advocacy is lost and so are our children if these things are not taught. A lot of these civil rights leaders are dead and should not be forgotten by anyone especially the future generation of blacks. Is it just up to the teachers? No! It is up to the parents as well to share the events of the civil rights movement that took place not too long ago. My question is what will become of our people, if we have forgotten what it took to get what freedoms we have to enjoy now?

R.G. Hill
Memphis, Tennessee

I have been a native of the State of Iowa for many years now. I see Iowa as racially and unequally divided. I traveled to Paris before Princess Diana was killed. I was amazed to experience the warm and friendly welcome. I am proud to be black. My parents raised their children to be strong, respectful, and kind to others. This nation has not accepted, or shown kindness to all the American People. I am proud to be black. My parents instilled a Strong Faith in me, to believe in God, to forgive, treat others with respect, to be kind and loving, walk with my head held high, and to always conduct myself as a lady.

Des Moines, Iowa

I missed all but the last program. It made me quite ashamed of my white race to watch the treatment of people that were entitled to be equal but denied that right by EVIL persons that will answer for what they did.

South Charleston, West Virginia

The hatred of America toward the Negroes is outrageous. A country so blessed by God to be a beacon of light to the world is now more like Lucifer the light bearer trying to be God. Today's globalization of American values, economics and control is too scary. Will God intervene and put an end to such arrogance that even Europeans, America's first cousin, abhor vehemently?


The seeds of terrorism were sown in that time of racial segregation, race-based oppression, and the defiant ignorance of and the creation of unjust law. European-Americans paid dearly for the injustice that they meted out at that time. They were proven wrong in the belief that this country was theirs alone, with no recognition of the rights of other citizens. Oppression continues to exist in America and among peoples of all cultures with the continuation of unjust efforts, policies and laws. The increase of military action, violence and terrorism worldwide proves that this seed continues to be planted, and that we have not learned from our past.

The planting of those seeds of ignorance and injustice took the lives of innocent American citizens of all colors then, and continues to take the lives of innocent American and Non-American citizens around the world today. This story of the Civil Rights Movement shows us once again that there can be no compromise in demanding freedom from injustice, and that freedom is paid for in human blood. No amount of security can equal the cost of freedom paid for with priceless lives.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

I watched the show this weekend, which was my first time seeing the show. The show was good. It amazes me how whites and others were so hateful of blacks wanting to integrate. Even today some whites and others still feel the same way as they did back then, especially in Africa. What a shame, because we all have so much to give to each other. Imagine if there was no racism in the world.

C. D.
Miami Gardens, Florida

I believe there should be more legal actions taken on behalf of those who were abused and against those who committed abuse and overlooked the abuse when in a position of authority and public office. Including those in our government.

C. A.
Ft. Myers, Florida

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Eyes on the Prize Blackside American Experience