Tom Hayden, civil rights and antiwar activist, has died

Tom Hayden in "Eyes on the Prize"

Tom Hayden in “Eyes on the Prize”

Interview with Tom Hayden – Eyes on the Prize

Famed civil rights, antiwar activist, and politician Tom Hayden passed away on Sunday, October 23. Hayden was one of the authors of the Port Huron Statement, the manifesto for the leftist activist organization Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Hayden and SDS supported the Greensboro sit-ins in 1960, and he participated in the Freedom Rides to desegregate interstate buses in 1961. Hayden, along with other activist members of the “Chicago Eight,” was convicted on federal charges for inciting a riot because of his role in organizing protests at the 1968 Democratic Convention, charges which were later reversed on appeal. Hayden also controversially traveled to North Vietnam several times during the height of the Vietnam War. Hayden later became a professor, a member of the California State Assembly, and author of such books as The American Future (1980), The Lost Gospel of the Earth (1996), and Ending the War in Iraq (2007).

Hayden was interviewed by Blackside Inc. for the civil rights television series Eyes on the Prize in 1985. Below is a link to the interview in its entirety made possible by a National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) Grant:

Interview with Tom Hayden – Eyes on the Prize

The Film & Media Archive was established in 2001 after the Washington University Libraries acquired the collections of Blackside, the largest African-American-owned film production company of its day. Founded by Washington University alumnus Henry Hampton, Blackside produced films on civil rights, democracy, and the arts, including the award-winning Eyes on the Prize.

–Brian Woodman, Film & Media Curator

About the author

Reference and Outreach Supervisor in Special Collections.