Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground
This documentary special honors Henry Hampton’s masterpiece EYES ON THE PRIZE (1987-1990) 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.
Executive produced alongside Patrisse Cullors, Mervyn Marcano and De La Revolución Films’ Melina Matsoukas are Anonymous Content’s Joy Gorman Wettels, Bedonna Smith, Blackside’s Judi Hampton and Sandra Forman, and Sophia Nahli Allison.
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Patrisse Cullors is a New York Times bestselling author, educator, artist, and abolitionist from Los Angeles, CA. Co-founder and former executive director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. Patrisse has been on the frontlines of abolitionist organizing for 20 years. As an artist, Patrisse has directed and produced docu-series, theater, and performance pieces. In all areas of her life and work, Patrisse intends to continue to uplift Black stories, talent, and creators that are transforming the world of art and culture.
Judi Hampton, sister of Henry Hampton, was a civil rights worker in the south for several years in the 1960’s before working in the corporate sector and eventually founding her own public relations firm. She assumed the reins of Blackside following her brother’s passing in 1998. Judi’s goal of introducing Eyes on the Prize to a new audience was achieved in 2006 with the re-release of the series on public television. Now semi-retired, Judi maintains her passion for social justice and enjoys connecting with the younger generation of activists and organizers.
Henry Hampton, a world-renowned documentarian, founded Blackside in 1968 which later became the largest African-American owned film production company at the time. He is most known for the Emmy-award winning and Oscar-nominated series Eyes on the Prize which showcases the unsung voices that powered the American Civil Rights Movement. Henry was devoted to his family and to his adopted home of Boston, Massachusetts where he lived until his untimely death due to complications from lung cancer treatment in 1998.
Melina Abdullah is Professor of Pan-African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles, and immediate past Department Chair. She is a recognized expert on race, gender, class, and social movements. Abdullah is the author of numerous scholarly articles and book chapters, with subjects ranging from political coalition building to womanist mothering. She was among the original group of organizers that convened to form Black Lives Matter. She serves as a Los Angeles chapter lead, policy team lead for the California chapters, and co-director of Black Lives Matter-Grassroots, the global formation for on-the-ground organizing.
Phillip Agnew co-founded the Dream Defenders in 2012. His work in community organizing and art is frequently cited and highlighted nationally. He is a nationally recognized educator, strategist, writer, trainer, speaker, and cultural critic. In 2018, he transitioned from his role as co-director of the Dream Defenders. In July 2019, he joined the Bernie Sanders campaign as a National Surrogate and was later named a Senior Advisor. Agnew is currently an organizer with the Dream Defenders and Black Men Build. Agnew is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and a graduate of Florida A&M University.
Damon Davis is a post-disciplinary artist based in St. Louis, Missouri. His work spans across a spectrum of creative mediums to tell stories exploring how identity is informed by power and mythology. He is well-known for his body of work, Darker Gods, which explores Afro-surrealist manifestations of Black culture. Davis is the founder and creative director of St. Louis-based music label/ artist collective FarFetched. His work is featured in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. He is a Firelight Media, Sundance Labs, TED, and Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow.
Brittany Ferrell is a public health nurse, political organizer, birth worker, and nursing science Ph.D. student at Washington University in St. Louis Goldfarb School of Nursing. Her research interrogates the multiple domains of stress and their implications on pregnancy and birth outcomes. Her diverse experiences in community and clinical nursing inform and are closely aligned with her research interests. Among other roles, Ferrell is chairwoman of Jamaa Birth Village in Ferguson, MO, the founder of Honor Black Birth—a reproductive justice storytelling incubator, using narrative power and filmmaking to tell stories about Black pregnancy and birth—and national field secretary at Movement for Black Lives. Ferrell is a transformative member of her community and a force of nature for social justice.
Ashlee Marie Preston
Ashlee Marie Preston is an acclaimed media personality and civil rights activist. She is historically the first trans person in the U.S. to become editor-in-chief of a national publication and the first openly trans person to run for state office in California.
Prentis Hemphill is a writer and cartographer of emotions, an embodiment facilitator, political organizer, and therapist. They are the founder and director of The Embodiment Institute and The Black Embodiment Initiative and the host of the acclaimed podcast, Finding Our Way. For the last ten years, Hemphill has practiced and taught somatics in social movement organizations and offered embodied practice during social unrest and organizational upheaval moments. They have taught embodied leadership with Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity and generative somatics and served as the Healing Justice Director of Black Lives Matter Global Network from 2016 to 2019. Their work and writing have appeared in the New York Times, the Huffington Post. They are a contributor to ‘You are Your Best Thing,’ edited by Tarana Burke and Brene Brown, ‘Holding Change’ by Adrienne Maree Brown, and ‘The Politics of Trauma’ by Staci Haines.
Thandiwe Abdullah is a 17-year-old Black Lives Matter Los Angeles organizer, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Youth Vanguard, and mobilizations director at March for Our Lives. She helped to conceptualize and launch the Black Lives Matter in Schools campaign, adopted by the National Education Association. Her work is to create safe spaces for Black youth to organize around racism and anti-blackness, particularly in schools.
Kayla Reed (she/her) is a Black, queer feminist organizer and strategist from St. Louis, Missouri. Kayla is the co-founder and executive director of Action St. Louis, a grassroots racial justice organization founded after the 2014 Ferguson Uprising that works to build Black political power. In her role, she has led campaigns that have resulted in the election of progressive Black candidates throughout the St. Louis region and led issue campaigns around housing, voting rights, and the criminal legal system. Reed is also a lead strategist in the Movement for Black Lives, where she co-founded the Electoral Justice Project (EJP), a national campaign of the Movement for Black Lives. The project seeks to challenge electoral injustice, expand and mobilize the Black electorate and strengthen the capacity of Black-led organizations to build power across the U.S.
Tianna Arata is a student, community organizer, and nonconformist. At the age of 14, Arata began organizing for Black liberation in her hometown of Portland, OR. A few years later, she moved to San Luis Obispo, where she attended college as a student-athlete and model.
FACING HISTORY AND OURSELVES
Facing History and Ourselves uses history lessons to challenge teachers and their students to stand up to bigotry and hate.
THE IDENTITY, ART & DEMOCRACY RESEARCH LAB AT MOREHOUSE COLLEGE
The Identity, Art & Democracy Research Lab at Morehouse College is an active psychology space for affirming narratives and social impact. The Lab was established to understand “the self” through narratives. In setting analysis on life stories, identity is understood more robustly because of the ability to push beyond stereotypes with more complete and complex stories of and relating to the person. Within the Lab we are intentional in convening scientists, activists, students, artists, politicians, academics, organizers, and athletes. We do this by calculating that one’s storied self is a process and product of human creativity and social life — art. Considering identity in this way also affords an opportunity to view how one frames and exercises their democratic space, or how they are visible. The Identity, Art & Democracy Research Lab provides a novel way to move from “counting and summarizing” the complex identities of Black people to authentically engaging us, scaling toward new contours of freedom work and democracy.
THE WOMEN’S CENTER AT SPELMAN COLLEGE
A pioneer in teaching, research, and advocacy, the Women’s Research and Resource Center (WRRC) nurtures our students' critical thinking about many issues, including human rights, healthcare, and leadership development. By raising $1 million to match the Ford Foundation's million-dollar challenge grant, Spelman advanced the Center's pioneering work in teaching and research.
Spelman College, a historically Black college and a global leader in educating women of African descent, is dedicated to academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and the intellectual, creative, ethical, and leadership development of its students. Spelman empowers the whole person to engage the world’s many cultures and inspires a commitment to positive social change through diverse learning modalities.
Abolitionist Entertainment is an independent production company founded on three guiding principles: storytelling as building power for marginalized voices, authentic engagement and centering abolitionist values and practices across all areas of our work.
“Media” is defined as the intersections of technical knowledge, humanistic investments, social relations, economic models, political stakes, and aesthetic expression that people use to understand and shape their lives. MASTS is an interdisciplinary community of knowledge and action that aims to rigorously and playfully build better media infrastructures, strengthen public life, and advance social justice.