Editorial: ‘Keep your eyes on prize. Hold on.’

Editorial: ‘Keep your eyes on prize. Hold on.’
August 04
07:20 2016

The serial 1987 PBS documentary “Eyes on the Prize” shows the hardships and victories black Americans endured in the 1950s and 1960s Civil Rights Movement. The producers used the moving folk song-turned-civil rights song “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize.”

In the documentary, one verse goes like this: “You know the one thing we did right was the day we started to fight. Keep your eyes on the prize. Hold on.”

It came to mind last week. African-Americans and anyone who loves freedom should be celebrating in light of the speech by the Rev. Dr. William Barber II at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, July 28, and the ruling Friday by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that declared that the 2013 N.C. voting law violated the Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act by targeting black voters “with almost surgical precision.”

Barber, a preacher who is president of the N.C. NAACP, brought his firebrand speaking style to the convention as a regular citizen, since the NAACP is non-partisan. The Washington Post covered Barber’s speech. It said, “It was a call to action that, in Barber’s view, serves this cause — an articulation of a liberal and patriotic philosophy with what Barber said was the moral force to shock and resuscitate the heart of the nation.” (To see the video of his speech, go to and search for “William J. Barber, II.”)

The Associated Press reported that a three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in Raleigh ruled that the N.C. voting law illegally targeted minorities with tougher ballot access rules, such as requiring photo identification to vote.

The law, passed two years after Republicans took control of the state legislature for the first time in a century, sought to entrench GOP politicians in power, the court panel said. It also was passed after the U.S. Supreme Court declared “times have changed” so the oversight section of the U.S. Voting Rights Act was no longer needed.

We need to keep our eyes on the prize, which is a new North Carolina General Assembly. We can’t stop now. Vote on Nov. 8 for the people who will keep the momentum going and not turn back the clock. “Keep your eyes on the prize. Hold on.”

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Donna Rogers

Donna Rogers

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