CNN interviews Alfred Mathewson: Nikole Hannah-Jones chose HBCU Howard over UNC. Here's why that's significant

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-- excerpt -- Alfred Mathewson, an emeritus professor of law and former co-dean of the University of New Mexico School of Law, also went to Howard, where he finished his undergraduate degree in business management in 1975. Before enrolling, he had to decide between attending UNC-Chapel Hill or Howard, akin to the choice Hannah-Jones faced. In the end, Howard won out. "It was almost unthinkable at the time," he told CNN. "Everyone who knew me tried to talk me out of it. It was a big thing at the time for a Black kid to be accepted into Carolina and into a White school." The decision was the correct one for Mathewson, who praised his experience as a student there. Now, to see Hannah-Jones and Coates at the school is exhilarating, he said. "I was excited. As soon as I saw the story, I tweeted it. And my friends from Howard, they were posting on Facebook," he said. "There was a great deal of excitement."

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