Charles Barkley’s gift pays off for Mississippi Delta students

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NBA Hall of Famer and TV analyst Charles Barkley donated $250,000 to the Hernando-based Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi to help fund a digital history course on the contributions of African Americans in the sciences, academia, the arts, music and sports.

The course will be taught to 4th-12th graders in the Mississippi Delta as part of the Community Digital Scholars Program, a partnership between the Community Foundation and EVERFI, an education technology company.

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

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.

“We’re incredibly excited to work with the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi and Charles Barkley 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,” said EVERFI CEO Tom Davidson.

Tom Pittman is a member of Mississippi Today’s board of directors.