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From Birmingham to Western MA

The “Eyes on the Prize” issue has in many ways been about paradoxes and ironies – The MLK Committee in North Carolina couldn’t get a hold of a copy of “Eyes on the Prize” for their civil rights tour of the South and was looking to a political activism organization (us, Downhill Battle) to get copies. It is too close to insane irony that people who are seeking out our history of the civil rights movement can’t learn more about it because copyright industries are holding back a flood of historical video content. The tour organizer writes, “I am looking for a copy of the video “Eyes on the Prize” and unable to find in local libraries or stores. I saw on your website where there are copyright issues; therefore making them virtually impossible to find. I am with the MLK Committee in Raleigh NC. We sponsor a Civil Rights Heritage Tour to Tuskegee, Selma, Montgomery, Birmingham, and Memphis each year and the tapes we have used in the past are not available this year. We leave next Mon night (March 21) and I need a copy of the video.”

People are writing to tell us that they are showing “Eyes” until they run out of episodes, at their libraries, as a part of their school curriculum, at their nonprofits and community centers. People seem to be making sure “Eyes” continues to be a part of public discourse, or maybe more simply, “Eyes” has become a part of public/civic discourse. I also heard from a librarian friend (he and his punk noise band from Western, MA played in Worcester last weekend) that he had just heard of us because librarians were forwarding emails around in their great activist spirit about “Eyes on the Screen” and that libraries are screening “Eyes” continuously – remember, it’s not Black History Month anymore and people are saying that the struggle continues. People don’t feel the need to publicize their screening with the“Eyes on the Screen” campaign, which shows that the access conversation is sticking to public discourse and not just to the campaign. One women from Atlanta writes that professors have since agreed to offer students extra credit for attending a screening – A MAZING.

Judy Richardson and Lawrence Guyot are continuing to give talks at schools and on TV – so invite them to your school or screening before they’re all too tired to fight your way.

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