John Lewis Accepts National Book Award

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John Lewis Accepts National Book Award With Emotional Speech

As a teenager, the congressman wasn’t even allowed to get a library card because of his race.

Emily Tate Politics Intern, The Huffington Post 

In a powerful acceptance speech at the National Book Awards ceremony Wednesday night, civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) recalled how far he had come to receive the honor.  “And I remember in 1956, when I was 16 years old, some of my brothers and sisters and cousins going down to the public library, trying to get library cards,” Lewis said, clutching his award. “And we were told that the library was for whites only and not for coloreds.”

Jesus’ Burial Slab Uncovered

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Supposed ‘Burial Slab’ Of Jesus Christ Uncovered For First Time In Centuries

The slab had been encased in marble since at least 1555.

Ed Mazza    Overnight Editor

A stone slab that many Christians believe once held the body of Jesus Christ after the crucifixion has been unveiled for the first time in centuries.

National Geographic, which was filming the restoration work at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, said the marble that encased the slab since at least 1555 was removed as part of the project.

“We were surprised by the amount of fill material beneath it,” Fredrik Hiebert, archaeologist-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, told the organization’s website. “It will be a long scientific analysis, but we will finally be able to see the original rock surface on which, according to tradition, the body of Christ was laid.”

The church is one of the most revered sites in Christianity, and includes the location traditionally believed to have been the scene of the crucifixion as well as the tomb. It’s also highly controversial, as the location was not identified until centuries after the events depicted in the New Testament.

Read more here.

Earliest known stone version of Ten Commandments sold

Earliest known stone version of Ten Commandments sold for $850,000

(CNN)The earliest known stone inscription of the Ten Commandments sold for $850,000 — and a stipulation the owner must put the tablet on public display.

Described as a “national treasure” of Israel, the stone was first uncovered in 1913 during excavations for a railroad station near Yavneh in Israel and is the only intact tablet version of the Commandments thought to exist.
“The tablet’s significance is testament to the deep roots and enduring power of the Commandments that still form the basis of three of the world’s great religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” said David Michaels, director of ancient coins for Heritage Auctions.
“Its surface is worn, battered and encrusted in places, but running a gloved finger over it does produce, in some people, a particular thrill of touching a piece of Bible history.”
Read more here.

MOSES’ DEATH SITE REOPENS AFTER 10-YEAR-LONG RESTORATION PROCESS

SITE OF MOSES’ DEATH REOPENS AFTER 10-YEAR-LONG RESTORATION PROCESS

The Serpent and Cross Monument on the Summit of Mt. Nebo.

Moses, one of the most of the important figures to Jews, Christians and Muslims for his pivotal role in shaping the Abrahamic tradition, was tragically forbidden by God to enter the Holy Land. After guiding the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and taking them to the Promised Land, the prophet was given only a glimpse of the Holy Land from atop Mount Nebo, where he died soon after. Now, this site which is important for the adherents of Abrahamic religions historically as well as spiritually, has been restored and is now open.

Read more at World Religion News: “Site of Moses’ Death Reopens After 10-Year-Long Restoration Process” http://www.worldreligionnews.com/?p=31976

I, Racist

I, Racist

What follows is the beginning of the text of a congregational reflection given by John Metta at Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ on June 28 to an all white audience. The sermon was begun with a reading of the Good Samaritan story, and a quote from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  The text continues:

You see, I don’t talk about race to White people…It was probably about 15 years ago when a conversation took place between my aunt, who is White and lives in New York State, and my sister, who is Black and lives in North Carolina. The conversation can be distilled to a single sentence, said by my Black sister: “The only difference between people in the North and people in the South is that down here, at least people are honest about being racist.”  This perfectly illustrates why I don’t talk about race with White people.  Even – or rather, especially – my own family.

To read the entire text of this interesting sermon, click here.

Muhammad Ali

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Photo source: http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/muhammad- ali

Muhammad Ali (1942-2016) was an American former heavyweight champion boxer and one of the greatest sporting figures of the 20th century. An Olympic gold medalist and the first fighter to capture the heavyweight title three times, Ali won 56 times in his 21-year professional career. Ali’s outspokenness on issues of race, religion and politics made him a controversial figure during his career, and the heavyweight’s quips and taunts were as quick as his fists. Born Cassius Clay Jr., Ali changed his name in 1964 after joining the Nation of Islam. Citing his religious beliefs, he refused military induction and was stripped of his heavyweight championship and banned from boxing for three years during the prime of his career. Parkinson’s syndrome severely impaired Ali’s motor skills and speech, but he remained active as a humanitarian and goodwill ambassador. Read more.

Hartford’s Paul Brown, Jazz Legend, Dies

Hartford’s Paul Brown, Jazz Legend, Dies

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HARTFORD — Jazz bassist Paul Brown, founder of Hartford’s Monday Night Jazz series recognized by the Library of Congress as the oldest continuously run jazz festival in the country, and a member of Faith Congregational Church, died. Brown’s death was confirmed by the Hartford Jazz Society, which took over production of the jazz series after Brown ran it for 40 years. Read more from The Courant here. Read what the Hartford Jazz Society has to say here.

The Oppressed Majority: A Poignant French Short Film about a World in Which Men Are Subject to Sexism

The Oppressed Majority: A Poignant French Short Film about a World in Which Men Are Subject to Sexism

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A tragicomic day in the life of a man who struggles for equality in a mirror-image society dominated by women.

“Those who travel with the current will always feel they are good swimmers,” NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam wrote in his extraordinary exploration of society’s hidden biases, “[and] those who swim against the current may never realize they are better swimmers than they imagine.”

Watch this amazing video below. Warning: for mature audiences only. French with English subtitles.