LISTEN: NFL Star Benjamin Watson on Black History Month; East Texas Pastor of Historic Black Church Reports Cross Burning (BCNN1, 2/5/2017)

This is the Black Christian News Network Podcast for Sunday, February 5, 2017.

1. According to the Christian Post, Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson is weighing in on Black History Month this week, arguing that black lives do not matter when we support the “termination” of black unborn children. Writing on his Facebook page Thursday, the NFL star urged his fans to consider the burden of making black lives matter. As part of a larger list outlining the struggles and injustices blacks face and how their perpetuation diminishes the lives of blacks, the NFL star said, “Black lives don’t matter when we support and engage in the termination of our most important resource and our hope for a brighter future; our unborn children.”

2. According to Fox News, the pastor of a historic African-American church in East Texas says he was alarmed to see four tree limbs formed into the shape of a cross set on fire outside his church early Sunday morning. When Pastor Bill Burton of St. Thomas AME Church discovered the burning makeshift cross on the grounds of the Alto, Texas, church that’s over 100 years old, he said it brought back memories of cross burnings outside black churches in the 1960s, CBS19 reported on Tuesday. Burton said he’s convinced the act was a hate crime, but stressed that his congregation would not live in fear and will continue to have services as usual.

3. According to the LA Sentinel, During the 2016 presidential campaign Rev. Jesse Jackson pleaded with candidates to discuss and make economic justice a priority. He wrote “We need a movement that does for economic justice what Black Lives Matter has done for criminal justice.” Whether he has their support or not he continues to PUSH! The 20th Annual Rainbow PUSH Wall Street Project Economic Summit will be held on Wednesday, February 15 – Friday, February 17, at the Grand Hyatt New York, 109 East 42nd Street,?New York, NY. The theme is “Celebrating 20 Years: Strengthening and Redefining Inclusion and Equality in the Corporate Marketplace.”

4. According to the Associated Press, it wasn’t supposed to take Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin five years to write a book about the death of their son, Trayvon Martin. But their grief has made finding the words unbearable until now. Martin’s parents collaborated to write “Rest In Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin,” published Tuesday by Spiegel & Grau. The book recounts the journey of two grieving parents, thrust into the spotlight by tragedy and on some days, still as close to their loss as the day he died. In an interview with The Associated Press, Sybrina Fulton said, “The calendar says five years, but it seems like just a few months. I know that we’re still healing.”

5. According to the Associated Press, the University of South Carolina wants to erect a statue in honor of the school’s first African-American professor. The university hosted a celebration about Richard T. Greener’s life recently. The State of Columbia reported university officials hope to raise money for the statue and an endowment that would pay for future public lectures and programs that relate to Greener’s “pioneering spirit and contributions.” The statue is expected to be placed next to the Thomas Cooper Library. The project is expected to cost about $225,000.

6. According to the Associated Press, Matt Ryan and the Dallas Cowboys were big winners Saturday night. The Atlanta Falcons quarterback was voted The Associated Press 2016 NFL’s Most Valuable Player and top offensive player. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott took Offensive Rookie of the Year and Jason Garrett was selected Coach of the Year by a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. On the eve of the Super Bowl in which he will face off with two-time league MVP Tom Brady, who finished second in this year’s balloting, Ryan easily outdistanced Brady 25-10 for MVP. He beat Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers 15½ to 11 for Offensive Player of the Year.

7. According to the Associated Press, “This is Us” star Sterling K. Brown is welcoming the chance to put aside politics and come together for the Super Bowl. Brown told The Associated Press on Saturday, “Whether you’re red or blue, everybody shows up to watch the Super Bowl. For three and-a-half or four hours, just enjoy the game.” Brown grew up a fan of the St. Louis Rams, and before that the Cardinals.