Eye On The Prize Two Essay, Research Paper
“EYES ON THE PRIZE II”
This program combines the controversy of a non violent movement verses a movement with more force, and the discovery that the American nation is separating into two societies: “White and Black, Separate and Unequal.”
Martin Luther King decided to take his movement North and chose Chicago as his fighting grounds. He met much resistance from a powerful government (mayor Daily) who was out to show King that he was not needed or wanted in Chicago. The program showed King’s attempts to challenge slum housing conditions in Chicago; however, every attempt was countered by the government quickly responding and “defusing the situation. For example: If King showed the filth in a neighborhood, then the next day a garbage crew would show up and clean it . Marches on white American neighbors began, and eventually- -to stop the marches–an agreement was reached between King and his supporters and the Chicago government. King’s presence in Chicago seem to start even more “organizations” ready to march and fight for freedom. Regardless of the agreement, marches continued through white neighborhoods. The fear of violence was compounded by the fact that the Blacks were tired of unequal treatment, despite federal law, and the Whites were afraid of losing their homes, jobs and status. The program succeeded in its effort to show that Blacks and Whites without power were worried and afraid that there wasn’t enough resources to share.
The north’s suppression was much more subtle, yet like a back draft smoldering in a wall add oxygen and it explodes. This is just what Black Americans did–EXPLODED! Detroit Michigan was like the rest of the nation where whites had better paying jobs, homes and cars, while the blacks stayed at poverty level despite a thriving economy. Detroit broke out into a huge riot with looting, stores burning and people dying.
This riots were the focus of much of the program which symbolized the blacks frustration, the whites fear and the fact the government refused to do anything about it.
After the Detroit riot, President Lyndon B. Johnson formed a commission to investigate the nation’s ethnic tensions hoping to find a peaceful solution to the rioting. He appointed Illinois Gov. Otto Kerner to chair the commission. Johnson apparently believed these riots were planned by outside agitators and he hoped that the commission would confirm that. Instead, the Kerner report concluded that racism and economic inequality spurred the riots. “White society is deeply implicated in the ghetto,” the 1968 report said. “White institutions created, white institutions maintain it, and white society condones it.” The Kerner report was the nation’s first comprehensive look at race issues in the United States, and it was the federal government’s first official document that said racism existed and was a problem. The Kerner Commission found that America was becoming “two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal.” President Lyndon Johnson, who appointed the commission, ignored the report.
This program focused on the underlying reasons that Black Americans were so frustrated and presented that to the viewer in a logical manner that was both informative and interesting.