[Ten O'Clock News broadcast in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday]
Original Airdate: 1/15/1985
Item Type: newstape - aircheck
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The logos of The Ten O'Clock News underwriters Shawmut Bank, New England Telephone, and The Nimrod Press are displayed. Christopher Lydon introduces a Ten O'Clock News special broadcast marking the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. (civil rights leader).
Visual: Footage of King marching with other activists during the March on Washington; of civil rights protestors holding signs at the march. Footage of King delivering the "I Have a Dream" speech. Shots of march participants on the National Mall, listening to King's speech. Shot of King winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Shots of signs in the South indicating separate facilities for whites and "colored" people. Footage of King giving a speech about the struggle for equality.
Lydon reviews King's life and accomplishments. Lydon notes King's role in the civil rights movement. Lydon says that King won the Nobel Peace Prize; that King was America's "moral leader"; that King advocated "passive resistance" to segregation.
V: Footage of King surrounded by the news media; of mourners at King's funeral.
Lydon notes that King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
Lydon gives an overview of the evening's newscast. Paul Solman reports that African American unemployment is up 40% in Massachusetts since 1970, despite the economic boom.
V: Shot of the interior of the mall at Copley Plaza. Shot of Fred McLemore (Boston resident) crossing a street, with the Boston skyline visible in the background. Shots of McLemore entering a building and climbing the stairs to his apartment.
Solman reports that McLemore's family moved to Boston from Alabama in 1970.
V: Footage of McLemore saying that there are opportunities for jobs and education in Boston; that he does not have a job right now. Shots of McLemore's apartment.
Solman notes that McLemore's father has returned to Alabama. Solman reports that Boston may be less economically hospitable for some residents than it was in 1970. Solman says that Tom Jones (Vice President, John Hancock Mutual Insurance) has a good job and is a successful real estate investor.
V: Shots of Jones' office. Footage of Jones saying that he was able to succeed because his parents were well educated. Jones says that his parents taught him the value of education and discipline. Footage of McLemore saying that he did not have a career in mind for himself when he was growing up; that he wanted to be rich.
Solman reports that Jones' success would have been unheard of before the civil rights movement.
V: Shots of Prince (rock star) memorabilia on McLemore's wall. Shots of Jones' office; of two African American male college students studying outside of a building; of an African American family at a college campus.
Solman reports that statistics show that Boston provides a chance at equal opportunity for some African Americans.
V: Shots of African American men standing on a street corner. Shot of McLemore. Footage of Jones saying that McLemore does not have a great chance of succeeding because McLemore has dropped out of school.
Solman reports that African American high school dropouts have a 35% chance of being officially "poor"; that African American high school dropouts have a 40% chance of being unemployed; that African American high school dropouts have a 21% chance of being convicted of a crime.
V: Shots of the entrance to the Boston Public Welfare office; of an African American man performing slow dance moves on the street; of a breakdancing poster on McLemore's wall. Footage of McLemore talking about a job interview for a position in the stock room of Filene's Basement Department Store. McLemore says that he did not get the job. Footage of Jones questioning whether McLemore dresses appropriately for his job interviews. Footage of Jones saying that McLemore probably should not wear an earring. Footage of McLemore saying that he dresses neatly for job interviews. Footage of Jones saying that people need to be given training about how to handle job interviews.
Solman reports that McLemore has had no training for his job interviews.
V: Footage of Sarah Flint (McLemore's aunt) saying that it is difficult for African Americans to find jobs if they are not educated. Shots of young African American men walking on a street.
Solman says that vocational training programs do not target young African Americans; that vocational training programs are being cut by the government. Solman says that young people need to be trained for jobs; that businesses need skilled workers.
V: Shots of a vocational training center; of job advertisements in a newspaper; of an African American neighborhood. Footage of Jones saying that the white majority is comforted by African American success stories; that no one will take responsibility for helping less advantaged African Americans. Shot of McLemore.
Solman says that young African Americans must be given the means to take advantage of opportunites for success.
Gail Harris reports that most African Americans in Boston live in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan; that Roxbury neighborhoods are faced with changes.
V: Shots of a brownstone building in Roxbury; of two African American girls in front of a housing project. Footage of Mamie Mabine (Orchard Park tenant) says that low-income residents are afraid of being displaced from the neighborhood. Shots of housing projects in Roxbury.
Harris reports that there are 7,000 public housing units within one half mile of the Dudley MBTA Station.
V: Shots of an empty apartment in the Orchard Park Housing Project. The floor of the apartment is strewn with garbage. Shot of graffiti outside of the housing project.
Harris reports that squatters, drug addicts, and thieves are drawn to empty apartments in the Orchard Park Housing Project.
V: Footage of John Cruz (developer) saying that the Orchard Park Housing Project is terribly depressed; that the housing project makes the surrounding neighborhood unattractive to developers. Shots of renovated residential buildings in Roxbury.
Harris reports that the MBTA will soon tear down the elevated tracks along Washington Street; that property values in the area are expected to rise as a result.
V: Shots of an elevated train pulling into a dilapidated station. Footage of Ken Guscott (developer) saying that developers are beginning to take an interest in the Dudley Street area.
Harris stands in a vacant lot in Roxbury. Harris reports that vacant lots are attractive to white and minority developers.
V: Footage of Byron Rushing (State Representative) saying that Roxbury residents need to question the motives of the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA); that the neighborhood needs to be improved for the benefit of all residents. Shots of newly built houses.
Harris reports that it is hard to improve a poor neighborhood without making it too expensive for the poor residents to live there.
V: Footage of Otto Snowden (Co-founder, Freedom House) asks where poor African Americans will live if they are displaced from Roxbury. Footage of Muriel Snowden (Co-founder, Freedom House) saying that developers do not care about the African American community. Shots of the city of Boston from above; of a building being demolished; of an empty lot; of a few people walking toward the entrance of an old house. Footage of MBTA trains passing through Roxbury.
Harris reports that the BRA wants to improve the neighborhood without displacing people. Harris reports that the BRA plans to sell city land at lower costs; that the BRA plans to speed up approval for projects near Dudley Station; that the BRA will encourage big developers to build in Roxbury with minority developers as partners.
V: Footage of a BRA official saying that the Roxbury community will be involved in shaping the BRA's plan for development in Roxbury. Shot of a person walking on a snowy street in Roxbury.
V: Footage of buses pulling up to South Boston High School on the first day of school in 1974. Protestors in front of the school jeer at the buses. Shots of an anti-busing protest march; of police arresting a white man in South Boston; of National Guard soldiers in riot gear.
Meg Vaillancourt reviews the strong opposition by some Boston residents to busing for school desegregation in the mid-1970s. Vaillancourt reports that opposition to busing has disappeared; that African American and white students peacefully attend integrated schools.
V: Shots of the exterior of South Boston High School; of African American students exiting a bus in front of South Boston High School; of a police officer standing quietly in front of South Boston High School; of African American and white students descending an escalator at English High School.
Vaillancourt says that the Boston Public School System still buses students for purposes of integration; that Arthur Garrity, Jr. (federal judge) still oversees the operation of the schools.
V: Shots of African American students walking among school buses; of Garrity at a community meeting. Footage of Robert Peterkin (Former Deputy Superintendent, Boston Public Schools) saying that the the majority of students attending public schools in Boston are non-white. Footage of Robert Spillane (Superintendent, Boston Public Schools) saying that African American students are being bused into schools which already have a majority of African American students. Shots of African American and white students in classrooms; of an African American female teacher teaching students in a classroom.
Vaillancourt reports that African Americans and Hispanics make up 70% of the student population in Boston's schools; that enrollment has dropped dramatically since the beginning of court-ordered desegregation. Vaillancourt notes that test scores are low; that school officials estimated that one third of the graduates from Boston public schools in 1980 were functionally illiterate.
V: Footage of Kenneth Haskins (Harvard School of Education) saying that it is easy to comply with court-ordered desegregation by shifting students from school to school; that it is hard to provide a good integrated education for those students. Shot of a young African American girl in a classroom; of a young African American boy in a classroom; of two young Asian boys in a classroom.
Vaillancourt stands in an integrated elementary school classroom at the Jackson/Mann Elementary School. Vaillancourt explains the "freedom of choice" plan put forth by frustrated African American parents. Vaillancourt reports that the plan reserves a certain number of seats in each school for each racial group; that parents choose schools on a first-come, first-served basis.
V: Footage of Haskins saying that "the freedom of choice" is what parents have wanted since the beginning of school desegregation. Shots of African American parents in the audience at meeting of the Boston School Committee.
Vaillancourt reports that a 1982 poll showed that 79% of African American parents support the "freedom of choice" plan. Vaillancourt notes that the NAACP disapproved of the plan; that Garrity and the Boston School Department rejected the plan.
V: Shots of African American students boarding buses at South Boston High School.
Vaillancourt reports that school officials defended busing as a means to overcome racially segregated housing patterns in Boston.
V: Footage of Charles Willie (Court-Appointed Master for Desegregation) saying that the number of students bused to school did not increase dramatically with court-ordered desegregaton; that opponents of school desegregation used busing as an excuse to protest. Footage of Peterkin saying that the "freedom of choice" plan only works if all of the schools provide a good education. Shots of Mildred Reid (Jamaica Plain resident) helping her daughter Kim with homework.
Vaillancourt reports that Mildred Reid's daughters are bused from Jamaica Plain to Brighton High School.
V: Footage of Kim Reid (student) and her sister boarding a bus; of Kim Reid on the bus and in classrooms at Brighton High School. Audio of Kim Reid saying that she does not mind the bus ride; that she likes school. Footage of Reid saying that she is happy. Shots of an integrated elementary school classroom; of elementary school students performing The Wizard of Oz as a play. Shots of elementary and high school students in their classrooms.
Vaillancourt says that integrated magnet schools with special programs have been successful in Boston; that a standardized curriculum and strict promotional standards are contributing to higher test scores; that many students in Boston's public high schools score below the national average in reading tests.
V: Footage of buses descending G Street in South Boston.
Vaillancourt says that quality education is now the goal of Boston Public Schools.
Lydon introduces in-studio guests Dr. Virgil Wood (Pond Street Baptist Church) and Dr. Helen Edmonds (Visiting Professor, MIT). Lydon notes that Wood was a close friend of Martin Luther King. Lydon asks the guests if society is making progress toward reaching the goals set by King. Wood says that King fought against racism, war, and poverty. Wood says that society has regressed in all three areas. Edmonds says that society is not making progress in the area of civil rights; that the laws have been passed, but not enough change has been effected. Lydon asks if society has lost sight of King and his legacy. Edmonds says that society has lost sight of King. Edmonds accuses African American students at white schools of segregating themselves from the white population. Wood disagrees with Edmonds. Wood says that minority students at white universities need a "beachhead" from which to launch themselves into the mainstream; that minority students need a place to gather strength before going out into the mainstream population. Lydon asks about the divide between the African American middle class and the African American underclass. Wood says that King united the upper classes and the lower classes in Montgomery, Alabama, around common goals. Wood says that King would try to bridge the divide between classes if he were alive. Edmonds talks about the need for an African American leader to draw attention to the needs of the African American underclass. Lydon thanks the guests and closes the interview.
Lydon introduces a report by Callie Crossley. Crossley talks about growing up as a teenager in Memphis, Tennessee. She describes being denied access to the public library. Crossley says that King's leadership in the fight for equality led her to join the civil rights movement as a teenager. Crossley says that she was among the picketers supporting the strike by African American sanitation workers in Memphis in 1968; that she remembers when King arrived in Memphis to support the strike. Crossley describes the day of King's assassination. Crossley notes that all African Americans have benefitted from King's struggle and leadership.
Lydon closes the newscast.
V: Footage of King's speech to the audience on the National Mall during the March on Washington. Footage of Stevie Wonder (pop singer) singing at a celebration on the National Mall marking King's birthday. Jesse Jackson (African American leader) stands next to Wonder. A large crowd dances and cheers.
The logos of The Ten O'Clock News underwriters Shawmut Bank, New England Telephone, and The Nimrod Press are displayed.
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