Making Eyes on the Prize: A Studiolab Experiment

November 20, 2020
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

We invite anyone interested in learning about the Hampton collection, the documentary process, and/or the Studiolab project to take part in an exploratory screening discussion.

The first discussion will convene on Friday, Nov. 20, at 1 pm; we hope that all participants will have screened a set of materials that we have posted to Box.

Those participating are by no means required to have viewed or read all of the materials in the Box folder — there are many things to look at and explore therein — though we recommend at least viewing the first 32 minutes of Episode Two of Eyes on the PrizeFighting Back (available for free on after creating a free account) and exploring the full-length interviews from which the episode was built, made available through the Library’s digital gateway. 

If you would like to participate, please fill out the form below, or email The meeting will begin at 1 and end by 2:30. 

The Zoom link for the meeting is:


Eyes on the Prize 11/20 RSVP

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Eyes on the Prize: Fighting Back (1957–1962)

An excerpt from the transcript

Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas was a moderate by southern standards. A man the black community had supported. But in his last election, he’d faced tough opponents, and he knew he’d need the segregationist vote if he wanted to be reelected. The night before school opened, Faubus made a decision.

I have, therefore, in accordance with the solemn responsibilities and the oath of my office, taken the following action. Units of the National Guard have been and are now being mobilized with the mission to maintain or restore the peace and good order of this community. And advanced units are already on duty on the grounds of Central High School.

Orville Faubus

The Arkansas National Guard ringed the school with orders to admit only the white students. It shocked the country. State troops were now being used to prevent enforcement of federal law. At the center of the crisis were these nine teenagers, selected by the school board because of their excellent grades. The first day, eight of the nine went to school together accompanied by their parents and ministers. They expected some harassment but no real trouble.

You could cut it with a knife, the tension, outside the school where these people who had come in from other parts of the state, other states. There were license plates from all other states. There were people who had come in and were outside our school.

The eight children, and the adults with them, were turned away by the National Guard. The ninth student, Elizabeth Eckford, had missed the call to gather with the others before school. Elizabeth Eckford walked alone and met a mob.