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Ten O'Clock News; Common Ground, Part 4


Martin Nolan (Boston Globe) organizes a discussion during a Town Meeting on Race and Class at the John F. Kennedy Library. The meeting is held in honor of the release of J. Anthony Lukas's novel, Common Ground. The novel is about the busing crisis in Boston. Paul Parks (former Massachusetts Secretary for Education) comments on the lack of effective communication between the two opposing sides during the busing crisis. Parks says that he is saddened to hear a desire for separatism in the remarks of Moe Gillen (Charlestown community activist). Jim Conway (Charlestown resident) defends Gillen by saying that Gillen believes in neighborhood schools. Conway advocates school desegregation through school choice; he talks about the need to improve all of the schools across the city. Conway adds that Charlestown does not deserve its reputation as a racist neighborhood. Howard Husock (WGBH reporter) comments that parents are concerned about the education of their children. Husock talks about the benefits of a school choice plan, which could attract middle-class families back to the public schools. Elvira "Pixie" Palladino (former member, Boston School Committee) remarks that there are few members of the anti-busing movement at the meeting. Palladino says that the busing crisis only affected poor people in Boston. She adds that no "common ground" will be found until working-class white people are included in forums such as this one. Palladino asks how many people in the room respect and love her and the people she represents. Wayne Twymon (member of the Twymon family portrayed in Common Ground) talks about his experiences as an African American student attending white schools. He says that it was not easy being bused into white schools. Twymon adds that he received a good education and has been successful. Twymon tells Palladino that he loves her. Tom Lindbergh (graduate student, Boston University) asks Father Michael Groden (Archdiocese of Boston) if the Archdiocese of Boston will admit to serving as a haven for white families looking to escape forced busing. Lindbergh accuses the Archdiocese of Boston of profiting from school desegregation. Groden responds that the Archdiocese tightened its student transfer policy after the first year of busing. He adds that parochial schools also admit minority students. Panelists at the meeting include Jack Beatty (Senior Editor, Atlantic Monthly), Thomas Brown (Professor, University of Massachusetts), Marie Clarke (parent and member of the Home and School Association), Moe Gillen (Charlestown community activist), Father Michael Groden (Archdiocese of Boston), Robert Kiley (former Deputy Mayor of Boston), Theodore Landsmark (attorney), Sandra Lynch (former general counsel to the State Department of Education), Kim Marshall (Director of Curriculum, Boston Public Schools), Reverend Charles Stith (Union United Methodist Church), and Thomas Winship (former editor, Boston Globe). Tape 4 of 8.

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Ten O'Clock News

Common Ground, Part 4

Series Description

NIGHTLY NEWS WITH CHRISTOPHER LYDON AND CARMEN FIELDS Began January 1976. Replaced evening news show EVENING COMPASS. Original host: Steve Nevas. Other anchors, Christopher Lydon (1977-91) and Gail Harris (1983). In 1980 - hour long. Ended in 1991.

(PREDECESSORS: Louis Lyons began news operations at WGBH in 1952. The News at 10 began in 1966. The Reporters premiered in 1970. The Evening Compass started in 1974.) Series release date: 1/1976



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Busing for school integration
Civil rights
John F. Kennedy Library and Museum
Catholic Church
Segregation in education
School choice
Columbia Point (Boston, Mass.)
News Report
Husock, Howard (Interviewee)
Zimmerman, Leda (Reporter)
Chicago: “Ten O'Clock News; Common Ground, Part 4,” 09/28/1985, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 18, 2018, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_3816FF5A795E4B1C8E9F54DB231329DE.
MLA: “Ten O'Clock News; Common Ground, Part 4.” 09/28/1985. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 18, 2018. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_3816FF5A795E4B1C8E9F54DB231329DE>.
APA: Ten O'Clock News; Common Ground, Part 4. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_3816FF5A795E4B1C8E9F54DB231329DE
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