Former NBA great Charles Barkley donates $250K toward Black History education in Ala., Miss.

The NBA analyst and hall of famer says he wants to give back to youth in his home state to help them "achieve great things"

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Charles Barkley, the basketball Hall of Famer best known for having a big game and bigger opinions, has decided to put his money where his mouth is. Barkley has donated $250,000 toward educating Mississippi and Alabama high school students about African-American history.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal first reported last Thursday that Barkley, currently an NBA analyst for TNT made the donation to the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi and it will help fund a digital course on the contributions of African-Americans to public service, science, art and sports.

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What the deal includes

The course will be taught as part of the Community Digital Scholars Program, a partnership between the Community Foundation and EVERFI, an education technology company. The program targets 4th through 12th graders to teach financial literacy, STEM readiness, diversity and inclusion, entrepreneurship and health/wellness.

“We’re incredibly excited to work with the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi and Charles Barkley,” EVERFI CEO Tom Davidson said. “To offer this digital initiative that makes African-American history readily available and allows students in the Mississippi Delta to re-imagine how they see themselves through the lens of history.”

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Tom Pittman, Community Foundation president and CEO, said Barkley’s production company, Round Mound Media, will help create documentary content for the course in conjunction with Wondros, a Los Angeles-based creative and production agency. Barkley says that he’s making this donation as a way to give back.

From the man himself

“I was born and raised in rural Alabama at the dawn of the Civil Rights era,” Barkley, a native of Leeds, Ala., said in a statement, “I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to American heroes like Medgar Evers, John Lewis and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Every child in my home state should have the keys to knowledge of their history so they can achieve great things in their own lives,” he added. “This initiative helps accomplish that.”

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