This past Sunday, the final episode of “Like It Is” aired. After 43 years of being on the air, the Black centered public affairs show was brought to a close with a final episode honoring Gil Noble and all his accomplishments with the show. Hosted by Lori Stokes, the show featured many notable interviewees of the famed journalist, and classic clips such as the feature Mr. Noble did on Adam Clayton Powell. Jr. Noble suffered a stroke in the summer, and has been out since. The future of the show has been in serious doubt ever since, and yesterday just confirmed it. While fortunately, Mr. Noble has survived, he is reportedly in no condition to carry on as host. It is an immeasurable loss to see a show of such importance to Black Americans just fade away in this manner.
Some of us in the community have wondered quietly why no one else was allowed to stand in Noble’s place as the years went on. Its impossible to sum up the influence and contributions of Like It Is to the Black community. One of the unfortunate things about mainstays of the Black community, is that sometimes the baton is never passed. The show did not have to end with Gil Noble, as great as his contribution was. It could have been carried on by a new person. Now, that opportunity is gone. According to ABC, a new show centered around the Black community of New York named “Here And Now” will continue Gil’s legacy. We’ll see about that.
As for the larger question, what will happen to all of the archives of Like It Is? There are so many things that are vital to African American history, and in my opinion they should be preserved somewhere like the Schomburg. While opining on this with some of my readers, it was reinforced that this will be no small undertaking. Saving four decades worth of footage is no small task, but I believe now is the time to get that needed conversation started on what it will take. I hope that this will be considered, and Black New Yorkers especially will work towards this end. The archives have a great deal of historical value. Sadly, it is the end of an era.
What are your thoughts on this issue?
I have just one lingering question about this wrap up show: why was Charles Barron cut off so abruptly?
-Marc W. Polite