Media mogul and billionaire Oprah Winfrey says the ongoing national outrage over the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, as well as other black men at the hands of law enforcement officers, is an "exciting" sign that "people are paying attention."
"Even if we didn't know about a Ferguson, or an Eric Garner or a Michael Brown … they were going on," Winfrey told theGrio.com at the New York City premiere of the Martin Luther King Jr. inspired film, "Selma" Sunday night.
"The fact that they may have now become newsworthy or made national or international news doesn't mean there haven't been nameless Michael Browns or Eric Garners before," she noted. more >>
Popular Hollywood actor Samuel L. Jackson challenged his army of celebrity colleagues who participated in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which went viral this summer, to protest police violence against civilians Saturday by singing the "We ain't gonna stop 'til people are free" song.
Jackson made the call through a video posted on his public Facebook page the same day thousands of protesters flooded streets in New York City and Washington D.C. to march in protest against police violence. "All you celebrities out there who poured ice water on your head, here's a chance to do something else. I challenge all of you to sing the 'We ain't gonna stop 'til people are free' song," said Jackson.
He then launched into the lyrics of the song singing with a somber and militant expression on his face. "I can hear my neighbor crying, 'I can't breathe.' Now I'm in the struggle and 'I can't leave.' Calling out the violence of the racist police. We ain't gonna stop 'til people are free," he crooned. more >>
For more than six years now, I have used my daily talk radio show to facilitate dialogue on difficult and divisive issues, asking my listeners to shoot straight with me just as I do with them, even saying at times, "Let's commit to speaking the truth to each other even if it means offending one another. Otherwise, how can we make progress in our understanding?"
We have done this numerous times when it comes to race issues in America, wading into dangerous and controversial waters with the commitment to learn from each other and grow closer together in the Lord, knowing that what unites us in Jesus is far greater than anything that divides us. (Having worked with ethnic churches around the globe for decades, our profound unity in Jesus is readily apparent.)
Over the years, I have had countless African Americans thank me for tackling these issues on radio and in writing, and they have encouraged me to keep the dialogue going, which is something I am determined to do. more >>
Christian pastors and leaders are expected to voice their concerns at what may turn out to be a historic gathering next week for "It's Time To Speak," a live stream event focusing on race, the church and "where to go from here," in light of recent events in Ferguson, Missouri; Cleveland, and New York.
The eleven leaders, including event organizer Pastor Bryan Loritts, theologian John Piper, and pastors Matt Chandler, Darrin Patrick, and Derwin Gray, are scheduled to meet at the historic Lorraine Motel and National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis for A Time to Speak, on Tuesday (Dec. 16).
"Twenty years from 'It's Time To Speak' will be viewed as a reformational moment," Gray, pastor of Transformation Church in Indian Land, South Carolina, told The Christian Post on Friday. "This event will be a call for the local church to be what she was meant to be – a multi-ethnic and multi-class of communities of reconciliation, love, and unity." more >>
Actor Wendell Pierce offered insightful observations of not only his "Selma" character, Martin Luther King Jr., but of the state of race relations today during a recent interview.
Directed by Ava DuVernay, "Selma" has already generated Oscar buzz on top of receiving four Golden Globe nominations, four Satellite Awards nominations, and a Spirit Award nod. Just six months ago, while the film was being shot in Montgomery, Al., The Christian Post caught up Pierce on the set of the film. There, the Golden Globe-nominated actor revealed his careful research on the leader of the African-American Civil Rights movement. First, Pierce pointed at that the powerful movement, including the march from Selma to Montgomery, was stemmed in Christianity.
"Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, Hosea Williams- all of these people were leaders in their own right, it wasn't a coincidence that they were reverends either," the actor told CP at the time. "It was a Christian movement. It was amazing not only because it was [pointing out] the hypocrisy of America but also Christians. It really challenged people's spirit and hearts and what they really believed; how could you be Christian and treat other people that way? I think it was a combination of the two, political strategy and understanding what advocacy could do, and then understanding that there were men and women of faith trying to appeal to the hearts of others to reflect on what they believed in." more >>
The two largest Pentecostal denominations in the U.S. have called with one voice for Christians worldwide to affirm on Sunday, Dec. 14 that indeed "Black Lives Matter," and, as admonished in Scripture, to "mourn with those who mourn" — in this case, with black Americans who feel the justice system has failed in two recent cases involving the death of black males at the hands of white police officers.
"The lives of all people are precious to God, of course, but at the present moment, many of our black brothers and sisters in COGIC and the AG feel that their lives are not highly valued by many in white America," says Assemblies of God General Superintendent Dr. George O. Wood in a statement made public Thursday. "As examples, they point to the recent controversial decisions of grand juries in St. Louis County, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, not to return bills of indictment against white police officers in the deaths of two black males, Michael Brown and Eric Garner."
"Whatever your opinion of those controversial decisions, can we stand with our brothers and sisters and affirm the value of black lives generally and of their lives specifically?" Wood adds. "Scripture teaches that God does not take pleasure in the death of people, not even the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11). If so, then whatever the circumstances, we can be certain that God did not take pleasure in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Therefore, neither should we." more >>