Offering thanks to deserving people and things at Thanksgiving

Richard G. Carter | 10/12/2012, 4:17 p.m.
"It's ironic that people change the most when things are at their worst..." Susan Sullivan,...
Colony Records was my place for original Black R&B

Julius "Dr. J" Erving: The best basketball player I've ever seen in more than five decades of fandom. The most revered name in the annals of the old ABA, the amazing Dr. J led the then New York Nets to glory in the mid-1970s and his feats of magic continued into the '80s with the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers. Too bad he and Michael Jordan never went one-on-one. In my view, Julius would have stuffed Michael.

James "Pookie" Hudson: The late founder of the legendary Spaniels of "Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight" fame. Songwriter extraordinaire, he is acknowledged by many as the greatest lead singer of original Black rhythm and blues, which evolved into rock 'n' roll and changed America for all time. A true gentleman, Pookie was a role model for the great Aaron Neville and other fine singers.

Sidney Poitier: One of the finest actors of all, Poitier's legacy of film excellence is unsurpassed. From early roles in the likes of "No Way Out" (1950), "Cry The Beloved Country" (1951) and "The Blackboard Jungle" (1955), through powerful turns in "A Raisin in the Sun" (1961), "Lilies of the Field" (1963) and "The Bedford Incident" (1965), to the present, Poitier lit-up the big screen for generations of admiring filmgoers.

Condoleezza Rice: A bright, shining light in the dreadful Bush administration, many feel the brilliant Dr. Rice should have run for president. Regardless of your politics-and I am an independent-we've got to give this lady her due. If, indeed, she had decided to run for the White House, Black America would have a difficult time voting against her.

Turner Classic Movies: Must-viewing day and night for film devotees. TCM's huge library of commercial-free, vintage flicks-especially the all-time great era of 1945-60-make it a delight. Younger viewers can compare Hollywood's golden days to the brain-dead fare of the present, and learn movie history from its priceless documentaries.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. And a heart-felt wish for many, many more.