Sunday, 15 November 2009

Eyes on the Prize - the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

In the late seventies or early eighties an epic series came on the TV which captivated my interest for weeks. I was a teenager growing up in London, my historical knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement to that date was via the biographies of Nat King Cole and Billie Holiday. After these I read the biography of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr written by his widow Coretta Scott King. And then came 'Roots'. But I am not referring to that series. I am talking about a history of the Civil Rights Movement in a form I'd never seen before. 'Eyes on the Prize' was an education then and a few years later when it was repeated and I watched some episodes with my children.

Well I recently found this series on YouTube, available in 10 minute chunks making it suitable as a possible teaching resource for a History class. We are approaching the anniversary of the what is generally seen as the first action of the Civil Rights Movement in the US - the Montgomery Bus Boycott started on December 1st, 1955. It is an education for anyone to recognise and understand what it took to fight for what we often take for granted today. I wonder what children nowadays would think if they had to confront the issues faced by the Montgomery Bus Boycotters. You don't have to be American or even black to appreciate the determination and strength. It is an historical event worth teaching.

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