Description: Marcus Jones reports on Northeastern University's observation of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. Jones notes that a ceremony commemorating King's life was held at the university. Jones' report includes footage from the ceremony. Sonia Sanchez (poet and teacher) talks about King. Jones' report also includes footage of King. Susan Sullivan (Northeastern Law student) makes the announcement that the university is awarding an honorary law degree to Nelson Mandela. Interviews with Daniel Givelber (Dean, Northeastern University School of Law) and Sullivan about the decision to award a degree to Mandela. Jones notes that the university trustees overturned a policy which required recipients of degrees to pick them up in person. This edition of the Ten O'Clock News also included the following item: David Scondras, Charles Yancey and Ray Flynn: Boston City Council makes fair housing policy
1:00:10: Visual: Footage of an African American man performing a song at a ceremony commemorating the life of Martin Luther King (civil rights leader) at Northeastern University. Shots of the audience. Marcus Jones reports that hundreds of people gathered at Northeastern to commemorate the life of King; that King's 59th birthday is Friday. V: Shots of King addressing a crowd; of King marching at the head of a group of civil rights demonstrators. Footage of Sonia Sanchez (poet and teacher) talks about King's struggle to advance the cause of civil rights. Sanchez says that King's work is not finished. Shots of audience members applauding. Jones reports that Sanchez was the featured speaker at the ceremony; that the remarks of Susan Sullivan (Northeastern Law student) were the highlight of the event. V: Footage of Sullivan announcing that the Board of Trustees at Northeastern University has decided to award an honorary law degree to Nelson Mandela (jailed South African leader). The crowd applauds. Jones reports that Northeastern law students have petitioned the university for three years to grant a degree to Mandela. V: Shot of the entrance to the library at Northeastern Law School. Shot of a paper taped to the door of the library. A handwritten note on the paper reads, "Trustees grant Mandela Honorary Degree." Jones reports that the request had been previously denied due to a policy which required recipients of degrees to pick them up in person. Jones notes that Mandela has been jailed by the South African government because of his opposition to apartheid. V: Black and white footage of Mandela speaking; of a sign for Pollsmoor Prison, where Mandela is held. Jones notes that the university's decision to accede to the demands of students and faculty is unprecedented. V: Footage of Jones interviewing Daniel Givelber (Dean, Northeastern University School of Law). Givelbar says that Northeastern has an unusually diverse group of Trustees; that the Trustees felt like they were doing the right thing. Givelbar notes that the Board of Trustees made the decision to divest two years ago. Footage of Susan Sullivan saying that the degree should have been granted when the students first petitioned for it; that the law students should not have had to fight so hard for it. Sullivan says that international recognition could hasten Mandela's release from jail. Jones notes that the scheduled protest by the students turned into a celebration. Jones says that Northeastern students hope that other universities will follow Northeastern's example.
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 01/14/1988