Charles Barkley announces surprise $1 million donation to Spelman College

The NBA Hall of Famer has made significant donations to five other HBCUs.

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Charles Barkley continues to pay it forward with his generous financial contributions to historically Black colleges and universities.

The NBA Hall of Famer recently announced that he will donate $1 million to Spelman College in Atlanta, making it his sixth “significant” donation to an HBCU, reports. 

 Jordyn Hudson, the daughter of Barkley’s business partner, John Hudson, inspired Barkley to make the gift. This fall, Jordyn Hudson will be a sophomore and will also serve as class president of the all-female college, according to the report. 

Charles Barkley
NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley recently announced that he will donate $1 million to Spelman College. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

“John has been a great mentor, a great friend, and a great business partner,” said Barkley at a recent celebrity golf event in Lake Tahoe. “I was ready to do another HBCU and with his daughter doing great things at Spelman, so I told him, ‘Why not there’?”

“People are aware of Charles from TNT and his NBA stardom, but I don’t think people are aware of how focused he is on philanthropy and entrepreneurism,” said John Hudson. “He knows how committed Jordyn is to Spelman and has seen how it has transformed her worldview.”

Last summer, Jordyn released the documentary, “Shape the Culture: Then & Now,” which compares the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s — particularly in Birmingham — with today’s youth movement. 

“We are the ones that we’ve been waiting for,” Jordyn said in an interview with The Birmingham Times. “We are the change that we seek. Youth across the country — even though we are young — we have the power to make a difference. We have the power to activate change, just like the youth who marched in the Children’s Crusade during the 1960s. We have the power to cancel out racism and equities and injustice, and we are the change that we seek in the world.”

As reported by HBCU Gameday, Barkley previously pledged $1 million each to Alabama A&M, Tuskegee University, Miles College, Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University. 

Last year, the Leeds High School (Alabama) Class of 1981 graduate gave $1,000  to each employee of the Leeds City Schools. 

In 2020, he donated 200 computers to his high school alma mater and AT&T donated a year of free, wireless internet access.  “I spoke to the school’s principal and he said, ‘We got 500 students and 200 computers’,” Barkley said at the time, reported.  “That math doesn’t add up. We’ve got to find a way to help these kids compete. If they’ve got to learn virtually and don’t have a computer or Internet access, how are they going to compete in the world? I don’t want them to be left behind.”

“What can you say about someone who is so giving and charitable with their resources with all they’ve accomplished?” John Hudson said to

“He has a special place in his heart for Black women; I’ve seen him invest in Black female-owned companies. This is just another indication of Charles investing in something that is close to his heart,” he added, referencing the Spelman award.

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