LISTEN: Rev. Gil Caldwell Speaks at Duke Divinity School Where He Was Denied Admission 60 Years Ago (BCNN1, 10/20/2017)

This is the Black Christian News Network Podcast for Friday, October 20, 2017.

1. According to the Religion News Service, he walks with a cane and proudly acknowledges his age — 83. But the Rev. Gil Caldwell, best known as “a foot soldier” in the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s army, is not about to retire his lifelong fight for racial justice. When Duke Divinity School invited him to speak Wednesday (Oct. 18) during morning chapel services, he saw an opportunity to ask whether Duke was willing to confront its past. More than 60 years ago, the divinity school denied him admission because he is black. Speaking at a service in Goodson Chapel, he asked: “What is it that God would have Duke Divinity School do in light of that history? For if one is not honest about that history, one can’t be fully present.”

2. According to the Christian Post, the Museum of the Bible, which is set for its official opening in Washington D.C. in November, has responded to several news headlines claiming that its multitech exhibits largely ignore the story of Jesus Christ. Steven Bickley, Museum of the Bible’s vice president of marketing, administration and finance, told The Christian Post in an email Thursday: “The forthcoming Museum of the Bible is nonsectarian and invites everyone to engage with the history, narrative and impact of the best-selling book of all time.”

3. According to Christianity Today, VidAngel, a movie-filtering site backed by pro-family evangelical groups, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week so it can continue development during its ongoing copyright battle with Hollywood studios. The company was forced to take down its customizable video rental service last December after Disney, Lucasfilm, Warner Brothers, and 20th Century Fox sued it for illegally altering and streaming their content. The bankruptcy filing puts legal action against VidAngel on hold while the company reorganizes, Forbes reported.

4. According to the Daily Beast, the volunteer deputy in Oklahoma who shot and killed an unarmed black man in 2015 has been granted early release from prison. Bob Bates, 76, was scheduled for early release Thursday, his family confirmed. His discharge from state prison comes about one year and four months after he was sentenced to four years for second-degree manslaughter. As The Daily Beast previously reported, Bates was a reserve deputy for the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office and on a gun-buy sting operation when he mistook his gun for a taser and shot the unarmed suspect. The shocking incident—which was captured on body cameras—killed 44-year-old Eric Harris.

5. According to the Daily Mail, a convicted cop killer who sued Alabama over its lethal injection method used his final words to curse the state, before being put to death on Thursday night. As the procedure began, Torrey Twane McNabb, 40, raised both of his middle fingers in a show of defiance, and speaking directly to his family watching on, said: ‘Mom, sis, look at my eyes. I’m unafraid. To the state of Alabama, I hate you. I hate you. I hate you,’ before succumbing to his fate. The killer is reported to have raised his right arm and grimaced around 20 minutes before being declared dead, moments after a corrections officer had performed a consciousness check on him.

6. According to ArchDaily, the United States Postal Service has released their latest stamp, honoring one of the past year’s most significant architectural works: the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture by Freelon Adjaye Bond/ SmithGroup. Designed by art director Antonio Alcalá, the commemorative Forever stamp is based on a photograph taken by Alan Karchmer of the museum, which has welcomed nearly 3 million visitors since its debut in September 2016.

7. According to USA Today, Facebook told members of the Congressional Black Caucus that the social media giant was committed to adding an African American to its board of directors. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg made the commitment during a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill Thursday. Sandberg told lawmakers Facebook was in negotiations with a board candidate whose identity she did not disclose. She declined to say when an announcement would be made. Facebook’s board has eight members, none of whom are African American. Facebook declined to comment.

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