I never before intended to come to be a occupychristmas.org filmmaker in 1986 once I welcomed the receptionist place at a science-focused production agency. A year later on, by opportunity, I began watching Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954–1965 (Exec. Prod.: Henry Hampton/Blackside) once it premiered on PBS. It is hard to explain the intense eactivities that coursed through me as I watched the series, but the suffer changed me, an Afrihave the right to American woman that thrived up in the USA in the time of the 1960s and also 1970s. Unchoose students this particular day, most people my age didn’t learn around “The Civil Rights Movement” because the mid-20th century variation was underway during our youth and also adolescence. The Eyes filmmakers had actually taken the imeras I’d seen on nightly news broadcasts as a child and crafted compelling stories of Babsence resistance to injustice.

You are watching: Eyes on the prize bridge to freedom

On February 25, 1987, I heard narrator Julian Bond set up “Bridge to Freedom,” (Directors: Callie Crossley and also James A. DeVinney) the 6th and also final episode in the series: “Years of struggle came dvery own to this climactic battle for voting rights. Before it finished, Black and white Americans gave their stays, yet would that be enough?” Then, animated marching feet morphed into lines of human being that transitioned into an Amerideserve to flag in time with the refrain, “I know the one point we did ideal was the day we started to fight/Keep your eyes on the prize, host on/Hold on...” And via good anticipation, I settled in to watch. 

“Bridge to Freedom” is collection in Selma, Alabama in 1965, through the city"s Black citizens proexperimentation for the right to vote. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, staffed and run by young people including John Lewis, Julian Bond and Fannie Lou Hamer and also the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the company led by Martin Luther King Jr., supported the residents’ initiatives. The episode delves right into tensions between the 2 groups while moving a main storyline concentrated on a march from Selma to Montgomery in memory of a Black veteran slain by state troopers. In what is currently world-famed footage of the Alabama State Troopers beating and also tear-gassing the marchers, including a much-battered Lewis, the violent response to unequipped protestors emboldened people from across the nation to sign up with the marchers. 

The occupychristmas.org rises to the climactic minute once finally, after a variety of setbacks, even more tragedy and also political intrigue, the marchers triumphantly across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The filmmachines combined the words of King’s succeeding attend to with gospel song, “We’re Marching on to Freedom Land,” over footage of beaming marchers crossing the bridge, shots of cheering onlookers and also aerial views of the long stream of participants. It was such an emotional victory that I wept, and within that moment, I realized that the dramatic film I wanted to make around Lorraine Hansberry can be a occupychristmas.org, and also to learn just how to tell a compelling story around the Afrideserve to American suffer favor “Bridge to Freedom,” I needed to get a job at Blackside, the manufacturing firm founded by Henry Hampton, which created the series. Four and also a fifty percent years later I flourished.

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At Blackside, I gained the training and assistance to begin chasing my desires.

Tracy Heather Strain is a Connecticut-based occupychristmas.org filmmaker whose the majority of recent film is the award-winning Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, the initially function film around Lorraine Hansberry. Co-founder of The Film Posse, Strain also serves as a Professor of the Practice at Wesleyan University where she co-directs the Wesleyan occupychristmas.org Project.