Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand at Nike are giving $1 million to Morehouse College as part of their Black Community Commitment Effort. The donation is earmarked to boost the historically Black college’s journalism and sports studies programs.
“Morehouse is grateful to Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand for an investment in the education of talented men of color who will ensure there is equity, balance, and truth in the way sports stories are framed and the way the Black experience is contextualized within American history,” said Monique Dozier, vice president for institutional advancement at Morehouse.
Morehouse College was founded in 1867 by William Jefferson White, specifically to educate the population of newly-freed Black men after the American Civil War. Originally a religious school, today it is a private liberal arts college. It played heavily in the civil rights movement of the 1960s; Martin Luther King Jr. was a student there, as were Julian Bond and Herman Cain.
“Education is crucial for understanding the Black experience today,” said Michael Jordan. “We want to help people understand the truth of our past and help tell the stories that will shape our future.”
The Black Community Commitment program has also poured money into the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Ida B. Wells Society as well as other organizations. The focus of the program is on making sure that Black voices are telling their own history.
In the case of sports journalism, it is seeking to address the disproportionate lack of Black voices in athletic history. There are plenty of Black professional athletes, but the history of Black athletics has overwhelmingly been told by white men.
“Many people are influenced to think a certain way about Black folks based on what they see on television and in Hollywood. We’ve got to tell our story,” said Lee, a 1979 graduate of Morehouse College, about the donation’s aims.
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