Segments in this Video

Fighting a Second Revolution (04:32)


See archival film from the civil rights movement and interviews with participants. Footage includes: demonstrators jailed, lunch counter sit-ins, and Martin Luther King Jr.

America's Social System (02:45)

By custom and by law, most blacks were servants, laborers, and tenet farmers. They went to separate schools and lived in separate areas. Some black ministers and the NAACP worked against segregation.

WWII and Brown v. Education (02:55)

Black Americans fought in the segregated U.S. Army; they returned changed by their experiences. In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled segregated schools unconstitutional.

Emmett Till Murder (04:52)

Mose Wright testified against two white men accused of his nephew's murder. Emmett Till's family recalls his death in Mississippi.

Emmitt Till's Funeral (03:21)

The horror aroused by Emmitt Till's open casket funeral in Chicago led Jet Magazine to publish photos of the beaten corpse, and to follow the murders' trial.

Murder Trial (04:04)

James Hicks remembers the trial, attended by Till's mother and Congressman Charles Diggs. Despite the danger, Mose Wright testified against Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam.

Not Guilty (02:12)

Emmitt Till's mother was not surprised by the verdict. Four years after the trial, Bryant and Milam sold their story to reporter William Bradford Huie.

Resistance Begins (01:22)

Despite the history of lynchings in the south, Emmett Till's murder energized black protests in Mississippi and Alabama. (Graphic images)

Rosa Parks (02:25)

A Montgomery city editor describes the tradition of segregation that included city buses where Rosa Parks refused to give her seat. NAACP leader E.D. Nixon describes her dedication.

Defying Bus Segregation (02:57)

E.D. Nixon called for a one day bus boycott after Rosa Parks was jailed. The Women's Political Council distributed boycott notices city-wide and the people voted to continue the boycott.

Martin Luther King Jr. (02:52)

King was asked to lead the new Montgomery Improvement Association and the boycott. Coretta Scott King recalls her husband's decision to lead the protest. Hear excerpts from MLK's 1955 speech.

Montgomery Bus Boycott (03:28)

Bus riders walked and offered their cars for an organized transportation pool. After failed talks with the mayor, violent acts against black leaders began.

Urging Peaceful Resistance (04:34)

The nightly meetings at Day St. Church strengthened the community's resolve as they listened to Rev. Abernathy and Rev. King.

White Citizens' Council (02:05)

Mississippi Senator Eastland harangues the White Citizens' Council against desegregation. Editor Azbell notes the entrenched traditions of the Confederacy.

Martin Luther King Jr. Arrested (02:53)

The national press covered the arrest of black leaders and MLK Jr. who urged non-violence and passive resistance. As the boycott continued, white women offered rides to their maids.

KKK Rallies (02:46)

Despite desegregation of buses in other states, Alabama enforced the segregation laws. After nine months of boycott, the KKK held rallies in Montgomery.

Montgomery's Bus Segregation Unconstitutional (04:17)

On November 13, 1956, the Supreme Court unanimously breaks the deadlock; KKK members walk through black neighborhoods. MLK calls for peaceful desegregation.

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Awakenings 1954–1956: Eyes on the Prize—America’s Civil Rights Movement 1954–1985

Part of the Series : Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement 1954–1985
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Individual acts of courage inspire black Southerners to fight for their rights: Mose Wright testifies against the white men who murdered young Emmett Till, and Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama.

Length: 56 minutes

Item#: BVL58632

Copyright date: ©1994

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.