It’s Friday eve, which means we’re one step closer to the weekend. But, before heading to the office, brush up on the news you need to know this Thursday morning.

1. Beyoncé was almost cast in the live-action Beauty and the Beast as Plumette the feather duster, but turned down the role because, according to director Bill Condon, “it wasn’t a big enough part.” (Glamour

2. Turns out RZA wasn’t being honest about the fight between Azealia Banks and Russell Crowe. In an interview with The Breakfast Club, he admitted that Crowe spat on Banks during an altercation at a Beverly Hills hotel. (The Breakfast Club)

3. Emmy winner Lena Waithe dropped the new trailer for her upcoming series The Chi on Wednesday. The show, which will premiere on Showtime in January, is described as a coming-of-age drama that focuses on the lives of Black, working classes South Siders in Chicago. (Chicagoist

4. Yara Shahidi’s Grown-ish finally has a premiere date. The Black-ish spin-off, which follows Shahidi’s character Zoey Johnson as she navigates college, will premiere Jan. 3. (Broadcasting & Cable)

5. Frank Ocean has won the defamation lawsuit filed by his father, which alleged that Frank defamed him in a blog post. The post detailed how Frank’s father referred to a transgender waitress with a homophobic slur and dragged him out of a diner because he “wouldn’t be served because she was dirty.” (TMZ)

6. A public school in Mississippi will change its name to honor Barack Obama. Davis Magnet IB PTA President Janelle Jefferson announced at a Jackson School Board meeting that the school, which is named after Confederate president Jefferson Davis, will change its name to honor Obama and “reflect a person who fully represents ideals and public stances consistent with what we want our children to believe about themselves.” (The Clarion-Ledger)

7. In a historic verdict, a Delaware County man has been found guilty of war crimes in Liberia. The U.S. Justice Department flew victims in to testify against Mohammed Jabateh, who they identified as “Jungle Jabbah,” as the man who particpated in war crimes between 1989 and 1997 in a civil war that ravaged Liberia. (

8. American Express CEO Ken Chenault is stepping down. Chenault, who is the third Black CEO of a Fortuen 500 Company, will retire next year. (NY Times)

9. Nicki Minaj has clarified comments she made in a recent XXL interview, in which she claimed to be “reintroducing the female rapper to pop culture.” Minaj said in an Instagram post, “Now, if you can find the part where I said ‘I made female rappers mainstream’, I’ll give you $100,000.00….I appreciate the love but I never said that.” (Instagram)

10. Morgan Freeman will play Colin Powell in an upcoming biopic from Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment. Reginald Hudlin will direct the drama, which is set during Powell’s tenure as Secretary of State under George W. Bush. (Vibe)

11. National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is set to bring hardcore rap fans the essential rap anthology. Non-profit record label Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is teaming up with the museum to bring fans a condensed and intense anthology of the 120 most impactful songs in hip hop. (Blavity