Over the coming weeks, NPT will broadcast a number of programs that examine our nation’s history of political and racial tensions so that we might better understand the events of today. “Through engagement with these topics, we seek to enrich the lives of everyone who calls Nashville home,” said Beth Curley, NPT’s president and CEO. On Thursday nights, Aug. 11 through Aug. 18 and Sept. 8 through Oct. 13, NPT will pair an episode of the second series of Eyes on the Prize with a documentary about a related issue.
Thursday, Aug. 11, at 8 p.m. Eyes on the Prize: The Time Has Come (1964-1966)
The second series of this seminal chronicle of the civil rights era begins in the mid-1960s, as the fabric of the traditional movement changes with the rise of the Black Power movement. Malcolm X takes nationalism to urban streets as a younger generation of black leaders listens.
Thursday, Aug. 11, at 9 p.m. Independent Lens: Let the Fire Burn
On May 13, 1985, a longtime feud between the city of Philadelphia and controversial radical urban group MOVE came to a deadly climax. By order of local authorities, police dropped military-grade explosives onto a MOVE-occupied row house. It was only later discovered that authorities decided to “let the fire burn.” Using archival news coverage and interviews, filmmaker Jason Osder brings to life one of the most tumultuous and largely forgotten clashes between government and citizens in modern American history, one that ended with the deaths of 11 people (including five children) and the destruction of 61 homes.
Thursday, Aug. 18, at 8 p.m. Eyes on the Prize: Two Societies (1965-1968)
The Kerner Commission finds that America is becoming “two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal.”
Thursday, Aug. 18, at 9 p.m. Freedom Riders: The Nashville Connection
Nashville veterans of the 1961 Freedom Rides recall their role in the landmark event of the civil-rights era in this 2011 panel discussion moderated by journalist John Seigenthaler.
Thursday, Sept. 8, at 8 p.m. Eyes on the Prize: Power! (1966-1968)
The call for Black Power takes various forms across communities. In Cleveland, Carl Stokes wins election as the first black mayor of a major American city. The Black Panther Party, armed with law books and guns, is born in Oakland.
Thursday, Sept. 8, at 9 p.m. Vel Phillips: Dream Big Dreams
The story of civil rights leader Vel Phillips, now in her 90s, who became the first African-American judge in Wisconsin and the first woman, and African American, in the nation elected to executive office in state government.
Thursday, Sept. 15, at 8 p.m. Eyes on the Prize: The Promised Land (1967-1968)
Martin Luther King Jr. stakes out new ground for himself and the fragmenting civil rights movement.
Thursday, Sept. 15, at 9 p.m. Independent Lens: Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People
Thomas Allen Harris’ critically acclaimed documentary presents photographic portrayals of African Americans by African Americans spanning the advent of the medium to the present day.
Thursday, Sept. 22, at 8 p.m. Eyes on the Prize: Ain’t Gonna Shuffle No More (1964-1972)
A call to pride and a renewed push for unity galvanize black America. Olympic champion Cassius Clay challenges America to accept him as Muhammad Ali. The National Black Political Convention tries to create a unified response to growing repression against the movement.
Thursday, Sept. 22, at 9 p.m. Independent Lens: American Denial
The film uses Gunnar Myrdal’s innovative research into the Jim Crow-era racism as a starting point for a look at how unconscious biases affect race relations in the U.S.
Thursday, Sept. 29, at 8 p.m. Eyes on the Prize: A Nation of Law? (1968-1971)
Black activism is increasingly met with a sometimes violent and unethical response from local and federal law enforcement agencies. At New York’s Attica State Prison, an inmate takeover leaves 43 men dead – four killed by inmates, 39 by police.
Thursday, Sept. 29, at 9 p.m. Frontline: Prison State
With unprecedented access, Frontline investigates the impact of mass incarceration in America. Around 2.3 million people are behind bars in the U.S. today, but a disproportionate number come from a few city neighborhoods, and in some places the concentration is so dense that states are spending millions of dollars annually to lock up residents of single blocks. “Prison State” examines one such community, Louisville’s Beecher Terrace housing project, and follows the lives of four residents as they move in and out of custody, while Kentucky tries break that cycle and shrink its prison state.
Thursday, Oct. 6, at 8 p.m. Eyes on the Prize: The Keys to the Kingdom (1974-1980)
Anti-discrimination legal rights gained in past decades by the civil rights movement are put to the test. In Boston, some whites violently resist a federal court school desegregation order. The Bakke Supreme Court case challenges affirmative action.
Thursday, Oct. 6, at 9 p.m. Frontline: Separate and Unequal
Sixty years after the Supreme Court declared separate schools for black and white children unconstitutional, Frontline examines the comeback of segregation in America. The film focuses on Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where a group of mostly white parents are trying to form their own city with its own separate school district, leaving behind a population of black students. Through this battle, Frontline shows the growing racial divide in American schools and the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education.
Thursday, Oct. 13, at 8 p.m. Eyes on the Prize: Back to the Movement (1979-Mid-80s)
Power and powerlessness. Pummeled by urban renewal, a lack of jobs and police harassment, Miami’s black community explodes in rioting. In Chicago, an unprecedented grassroots movement triumphs. Harold Washington becomes Chicago’s first black mayor.
Thursday, Oct. 13, at 9 p.m. POV: 15 to Life: Kenneth’s Story
Does sentencing a teenager to life without parole serve society? Following a Florida man who received four life sentences at age 15, this eye-opening film reveals a justice system that routinely condemns young Americans to die in prison.
Click to see our full schedule.