PODCAST: Chadwick Boseman Dies at 43 (BCNN1 8.31.20)

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According to the Associated Press, First Chadwick Boseman slipped on the cleats of Jackie Robinson, then the Godfather of Soul’s dancing shoes, portraying both Black American icons with a searing intensity that commanded respect. When the former playwright suited up as Black Panther, he brought cool intellectual gravitas to the Marvel superhero whose “Wakanda forever!” salute reverberated worldwide. As his Hollywood career boomed, though, Boseman was privately undergoing “countless surgeries and chemotherapy” to battle colon cancer, his family said in a statement announcing his death at age 43 on Friday. He’d been diagnosed at stage 3 in 2016 but never spoke publicly about it. The cancer was there when his character T’Challa visited the ancestors’ “astral plane” in poignant scenes from the Oscar-nominated “Black Panther,” there when he first became a producer on the action thriller “21 Bridges,” and there last summer when he shot an adaptation of a play by his hero August Wilson. It was there when he played a radical Black leader — seen only in flashbacks and visions — whose death is mourned by Vietnam War comrades-in-arms in Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods.” “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family said. “It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.” Boseman died at his home in the Los Angeles area with his wife and family by his side, his publicist Nicki Fioravante told The Associated Press. Boseman is survived by his wife and a parent and had no children.

According to the Associated Press, South Carolina can both honor nine Black worshippers killed five years ago in a racist attack and send a message that it loves and protects all its neighbors by becoming the 48th state to pass a law with more severe penalties for hate crimes, supporters said Wednesday. A small group of House members heard about a dozen people speak in favor of having a hate crimes law, including the pastor of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston where a white man targeted a Bible study at the 200-year-old African-American church. Blondelle Gadsen’s sister, Myra Thompson, was one of those killed that night in 2015. Gadsen said South Carolina passing a hate crime law isn’t just for evil attacks like the church shooting, but to ensure a better future for everyone by protecting anyone attacked out of hate. She then read off the nine names of the victims while wearing a button with their photos above her heart. “These people will never be forgotten as long as family members live. But my hope is this bill will give them renewed life, so heinous crimes don’t go unpunished,” Gadsen said. South Carolina, Arkansas and Wyoming are the only three states that don’t have hate crimes laws, which allow for greater punishments when prosecutors can prove a crime was motivated because of race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or disability.

According to Daily Mail, A black teenager allegedly stabbed a white Auto Zone employee after watching Facebook videos of police brutality and feeling felt ‘the need to find a white male to kill’, prosecutors claim. Jayvon Hatchett, 19, appeared in court in Columbus, Georgia, on Thursday charged with with aggravated assault and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime. He entered the Auto Zone near his home in Columbus on August 25 at 8:36am, and asked the employee for a thermostat. When the worker told him they did not have one and turned to walk away, Hatchett allegedly stabbed him multiple times, then fled from the store. Surveillance footage appears to show him running from the scene. The worker was transported to the hospital in critical condition. Authorities say he is to be lucky to be alive. Police were tipped off by members of the public after releasing images captured on surveillance cameras.

According to the Christian Post, When 29-year-old Wisconsin father Jacob S. Blake, was shot multiple times by a police officer in Kenosha on Sunday evening, one of the first things his devout Christian mother Julia Jackson did was call her pastor at Insight Church in Skokie, Illinois. Insight Church Pastor James E. Ward Jr. recalled Jackson, who is a member of his church’s intercessory team, saying, “‘I just got a phone call that my son has been shot by the police multiple times. It just happened.’” It was about 5 p.m. Sunday, said Ward, when he got Jackson’s call while traveling by car with his co-pastor wife, Sharon. “There was just an initial response to pray,” said Ward. “The first thing that we did when she communicated to us, we prayed and we asked God to spare his life. That was our exact prayer. Goal number one, Lord, spare his life.” And Blake lived. It was confirmation, Ward said, that God heard the church’s prayer, and they believe Blake’s survival is a “miracle.” “To hear even the following morning and throughout that night that he had survived and, relatively speaking, was in stable condition, we chalk that up as answered prayer. We just began to celebrate and thank God that He spared his life. That is a miracle. You do not get shot that many times typically and survive and still be relatively in the condition that he is. We have no doubt about the faithfulness of God,” Ward said. An attorney for Blake’s family said while he survived, he is now paralyzed, and it will take another “miracle” for him to walk again.

According to WSLS News, The controversy continues for the Falwell family. This time, a former Liberty University student said Becki Falwell, wife of former Liberty president Jerry Falwell Jr., initiated a sexual encounter with him in 2008. The student was 22 years old at the time. A Politico report details the alleged relationship. Friday night, alumni said they’re coming together to pray for the university. Dwayne Carson said in a Facebook video, “Praying for the school board. Praying for the school leaders. Praying for Jonathan Falwell. Praying for Jerry and Becki.” Carson was the campus pastor at LU from 1988-2011. He made the plea on Facebook calling on alumni and to pray for the school. His message has been shared by hundreds. “We’re going to spend a lot of time tonight asking for God to give wisdom. And the for the school as it moves forward,” said Carson. In addition to prayer, members of Save 71 are asking the Board of Trustees to launch a third-party investigation into all credible claims of sexual misconduct against the Falwells. Save 71 is an alumni organization advocating for reform at Liberty.

According to the Christian Post, PJ Morton, Maroon 5’s keyboardist and Grammy Award-winning solo artist, has returned to his gospel roots with the release of his first faith-album, “Gospel According to PJ”. Morton collaborated with an all-star cast of gospel artists for the project, including Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams and the Clark Sisters, among many others. The album was released on Aug. 28. Morton grew up in the church and was immersed in gospel music as the son of two pastors in New Orleans, Louisiana. His father, Bishop Paul S. Morton, was also successful in the entertainment industry as a gospel artist known for the singles, “Let It Rain” and “I’m Still Standing.” The musician, who was expected to follow in his father’s footsteps, distanced himself from his roots and became an R&B artist. Morton’s career kicked into high gear in 2010 when he signed on to play keyboards with the pop-rock group Maroon 5, which has since had three platinum-plus-selling albums. His solo career was simultaneously kicking off and he signed a deal with Young Money Entertainment. Morton won several Grammy Awards, including best traditional R&B performance for his cover of “How Deep Is Your Love.” Throughout the years, however, he kept gospel music close to his heart and worked with gospel artists including Fred Hammond and Heather Headley, among others. Now 39 years old, Morton is taking his followers to church with his own full-length album. His gospel single, “All in His Plan,” featuring Mary Mary and Le’Andria Johnson, is currently a radio hit. Other highlights on the album include an interlude by his father, “Here He Comes Again” featuring the Clark Sisters, and “Gotta Have You” with Jermaine Dolly, Lenna Byrd Miles and gospel pioneer Kirk Franklin. Morton said, “It sounds so crazy now, but Kirk wanted to sign me years ago, but he wanted me to do gospel music. I’m finally doing a gospel album.”

According to ESPN, Clifford Robinson, an early star in UConn’s rise to power who helped lead the Portland Trail Blazers to two NBA Finals, has died at the age of 53, the teams confirmed Saturday. No cause of death was given, although former Huskies coach Jim Calhoun said Robinson had a stroke 2½ years ago and went into a coma last week. Calhoun told The Associated Press, “It’s really sad to hear of this, because he was one of my kids, my players, a guy I watched grow into a man. It’s not an easy thing.” Nicknamed “Uncle Cliffy” and known for his trademark headband, Robinson spent 18 seasons in the NBA, winning the 1993 Sixth Man of the Year award and earning an All-Star nod. At 6-foot-11, he had the size of a center but was a skilled outside shooter, a predecessor of the modern NBA big man. His streak of 461 consecutive games played with the Trail Blazers still stands as a franchise record, and Robinson ranks among the team’s all-time leaders in blocks (2nd), points (5th), games played (5th), steals (6th), 3-pointers (7th) and rebounds (10th). “The Trail Blazers organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Trail Blazers great Cliff Robinson,” the team said in a statement. “… His personality and energy were unmatched, and his contributions on the court were unmistakable, helping the Trail Blazers into the playoffs each of his eight seasons with the team. … We extend our heartfelt condolences to Cliff’s family and loved ones. Uncle Cliffy will be greatly missed by the Trail Blazers and all of Rip City.”

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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!