Legendary television journalist Gil Noble, passed to the other side April 5. And as producer and host of the beloved Like It Is, he took with him an awareness and love of the African Diaspora that I do not expect to see on mainstream television again.
Gil Noble was not in pursuit of the big network gig nor did he have a public relations firm paid to tout his every utterance. What he had was a love of African people and he had decided that his job was bringing to the forefront information about the African-American experience that could not be found any place else.
Watching Like It Is was an educational experience and shows were talked about the next day and even the next year. The interview with Sammy Davis Jr. comes to mind as one that could not have been done with a white sensibility.
Mr. Noble’s Like It Is demonstrated that diversity in media is not simply about having a non-white news reader or host, or covering stories with black people in them. It is the freedom to bring an African and African-American perspective. Many are afraid of freedom but Gil Noble was not one of them. And he proved it every Sunday at 12 noon.
And when he was threatened, it was the people who rose up and stood around him in protection. They did it because Gil was not just respected and admired as a journalist, he was revered as a living institution and that’s a level that is only achieved when the people know you love them.
Gil Noble was a media warrior on our behalf and we will miss his courtliness, generosity, intelligence and his bravery.
As Ossie Davis said of Malcolm X, “he was our Black shining prince,” and we will always hold Gil Noble as the standard to be measured against.