10/07/2010 03:30 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mother Gibbs Keeps On Living

Mrs. Rosa L. Gibbs is still here.

Yesterday, she turned 108 years old and became one of the oldest residents in the city of Chicago. But only one TV station covered her story--WCIU-TV.
So, I decided to grab my camcorder and capture history in the making.

I call her "Mother Gibbs" because she was a church mother at my childhood place of worship. I've since moved on but try my best to stay in touch with those who were part of the "village" that raised THIS child. In fact, another church mother turned 100 last month with very little fanfare. This is why it amazes me how we focus more on the dismal life expectancy rates for African-Americans, rather than looking at examples of folks who made it.

I might not be the best journalist, but I know how to find the stories that matter. When I was doing this report, I felt self-conscious about how my voice sounded. But then I remembered that the story is bigger than the narrator. Mother Gibbs doesn't need me to speak on her behalf. As you will see in the video, she speaks pretty well for herself.

People like Mother Gibbs don't just read the statistics; Instead, they create their own.

And that's the greatest lesson one can teach.