When Eyes on the Prize first premiered in 1987, it became one of the biggest pop culture moments regarding Black history since Roots. The documentary showcased how Black leaders and laypeople alike helped move the needle regarding Black liberation in America. HBO Max is honoring the legacy of the documentary with an exclusive look at the HBO Max documentary special, Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground.
Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground is described as a project that “honors Henry Hampton’s masterpiece and conjures ancestral memories, activates the radical imagination, and explores the profound journey for Black liberation through the voices of the movement.”
“A portal through time, Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground is a mystical and lyrical reimagining of the past, present, and future,” continues the official description.
Shadow and Act has exclusively learned The documentary will be free to view on HBOMax.com and HBO Max’s YouTube channel for 30 days between Aug. 26 and Sept. 26. The documentary will also be Free On Demand via distribution partners such as AT&T TV.
To support the documentary, HBO Max has partnered with the documentary’s executive producers and Black scholars to create the Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground Guide on HBOMax.com. The collaborators also updated the original Eyes on the Prize Guide located at Facing History.org.
The guide features extensive timelines and lists of important moments in Black American history, Black leaders and pop culture innovators, important spaces and events in Black history and more.
To top it all off, HBO and Soze are partnering to create an HBCU Virtual Summit for Black audiences to gather to discuss the history and path forward discussed in Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground. The two-hour virtual summit will feature activists, influencers, artists and others to speak on issues brought up in the film and to hold conversations with filmmaker/co-writer Sophia Nahli Allison and producers, including executive producer and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors. The event will also include a mental health component through guided meditations and an artistic focus.
Allison, Cullors, and scholar Shakara Wyatt talked about how Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground continues the work of the original documentary.
“Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground is an offering and an invitation,” said Allison. “It is a portal through time and an awakening of the spirit. Hallowed Ground reminds us that movements of the past and present are deeply intertwined, and within these histories are visions of the future and healing.”
“Black scholars have been at the heart of social movements. The work of Black feminists have shaped modern movement language and practice,” said Cullors, who spoke to how the accompanying resource guide will help those wanting to get involved in the new social justice fight. “This resource guide is a tool for a new generation of abolitionist scholars.”
Wyatt said that the original documentary and its latest counterpart keep the work of Black scholars and historians prominent in the public eye.
“The gaslighting that accompanies erasure has taught me the importance of Black folks being the voice, the pen, and the documentarian of our own legacies,” she said. “Henry Hampton gifted the world Eyes on the Prize with the help of Black activists, Black historians, Black Womanists, and Black Scholars. We felt it was vital that this resource guide be led by the brilliance of those same groups.”