Charles Barkley has decided to donate $1 million to two deserving HBCUs. Clark Atlanta University and Alabama A&M University are the recipients of the donations.
CAU president, Ronald A. Johnson, responded to the donation by saying, “We are delighted to receive this generous gift from Mr. Barkley. This gift reflects his tremendous heart and his desire to make a significant, positive and lasting difference in the lives of others.”
But the donation may come as a surprise to some because Barkley has had a turbulent relationship with many in the Black community. Barkley recently filmed a segment for his new TNT show, “The Race Card” at Southern Baptist Church in Baltimore. During the discussion, Barkley spoke about police relations with Blacks. He soon angered the entire audience.
According to a story by The Undefeated, Barkley was met with backlash after he criticized the primarily Black audience for not showing empathy for the families of four police officers who were shot across the nation. One audience member shouted, “How simple and arrogant are you? There are so many Black men that care about our community that for us to dwell on one man that just won’t get it is a waste of everybody’s time.”
After the event, several activists in the audience shouted at Barkley and claimed that he lacked knowledge on the issues concerning the Black community.
Barkley has yet to respond to the backlash he received during the taping of the show which will air in 2017. But his donation to Clark Atlanta University and Alabama A&M University may serve as an olive branch to a community that often believes that he is out of touch.