“Like It Is . . .”

Happy Friday, All …

You know the drill for me is to Thank God It’s Friday … or any other day for that matter!

Our world, both physically and demographically, often frightens me when I look around and see human short-sightedness being implemented to create more luxury and ease of living, so to speak. While I still struggle with this issue personally, I still acknowledge where my own life needs improvement. Spirituality is the realm which is highlighted here at Educational Excellence because it is the most often ignored area of human existence in our busy “work-a-day”/ “make-a-buck” world. May we always find time to nurture that part of ourselves so as to approach keeping a balance.

One of the most legendary journalist, if not THE MOST legendary for African Americans, passed away yesterday. His name is Gil Noble. Now, I’ll be bluntly honest with you … he had fallen off my radar … like I said MY radar … for the past few years. I had lost track of his accomplishments and most recent activities until hearing of his death from a former student of mine last night. Yet, I do remember how the program, “Like It Is”, televised every Sunday morning, was an institution that focused on the most pressing issues for African Americans, and, consequently, Americans, from and including the ’60’s and on! Gil was a treasure chest for television journalism because he told it just the way it is. Topics for his programs included art and music as well as politics and sports. His format, which he created and produced on ABC for years, was all his own. May he be remembered, as Bill Cosby stated, and “protected” for his work and his life.

This past weekend, Muhammad Ali “threw” the first ball at the new Marlin’s Stadium opener against the St. Louis Cardinals. There was a mixture of reactions as “The Greatest” was rolled out to the field in a wheel chair with clear and obvious physical affects of Parkinson’s disease. At first, the people cheered and applauded. But when he got onto the field and the fans attending the event saw how erratically his hands were shaking due to his illness, a near hush fell over the stadium. The announcer himself sought to revive the cheers by stating, “He is the Greatest! Join me in welcoming Muhammad Ali!” And shouts of “Ali! Ali! Ali!” once again began to resonate in the air. Gil Noble himself covered much of the controversial career and life of Ali and he told it “Like It Is!” Peace be still …

May we go forth, accepting our human frailties and still seek to improve ourselves in the eyes of our Creator, and enjoy this Good Friday and Easter Weekend … As comedian “Red Skelton” used to say when ending his shows, ” … and may God bless!”


John I. Cook, Director

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