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Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement (1987, 1990)

More than 20 years after its release, this fourteen-hour PBS documentary remains the most compelling and informative exploration of the modern civil rights movement. Interviews and news footage support a well-paced narrative that traces the major events within the movement from 1954 to 1985.

The Great White Hope (1970)

This film follows the career of Jack Johnson, the African American who held the heavyweight boxing championship from 1908 to 1915. It’s not directly about “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” but it does reveal a great deal about the racial context in which James Weldon Johnson wrote the song, even if it does take place shortly after 1900.

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