If you like Charles Barkley — as I do — you’ll enjoy this story.
It’s a tough time for many in America, and the Alabama native is helping out his hometown.
The sports legend — who graduated from Jefferson County’s Leeds High School four decades ago — handed cash to every school employee in the Leeds City School System.
On Tuesday, the district made the announcement via Facebook.
“Through the years,” it said, “the Leeds School System has been fortunate to have the support of its biggest fan and most famous graduate, Charles Barkley, Class of 1981.”
Support, indeed — the star’s donated a gargantuan amount to those with similar roots.
And, it appears, he’s done so out of a desire to give back — as opposed to a need for the spotlight:
Over the past three decades, Charles has quietly and without any attention drawn to himself, provided over $3 million in scholarships to Leeds graduates, funds that have helped hundreds of students attend college.”
Charles has also been a supporter of Leeds High’s boys and girls basketball programs.
Furthermore, per the outlet, throughout the pandemic, he’s “helped fund laptops for virtual learners, hotspots and cleaning equipment.”
Personally, I’ve always been a fan of Mr. Barkley — mostly because he comes across as wholly his own man.
So far as I can tell, he’s a genuine thinker. He’s comfortable sharing his opinions, whether or not anyone agrees.
The man doesn’t recoil from controversy; case in point:
Watch Charles Barkley Incorrectly State The American Political System is Set Up to Make White & Black People Hate Each Other; Truth is The System is Set Up to Keep White Supermacy in Power & Stop Black People From Gaining Any Power or Wealth (Vid-Tweets) https://t.co/eapggjqr0x pic.twitter.com/EIqVHlfcwS
— Robert Littal BSO (@BSO) April 4, 2021
Charles Barkley speaking the truth pic.twitter.com/lt9jBldV2a
— ET (@runBMC57) April 3, 2021
As noted by RedState’s Jennifer Oliver O’Connell, such comments weren’t much dissimilar to those of Booker T. Washington.
From 1911’s My Larger Education:
There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.
Whatever one thinks of Charles and his plethora of positions, he’s certainly not afraid to speak his mind.
As I estimated last week, in this culture of increasing cancellation, the world could use more of the same.
But matched by his boldness, it seems, is his generosity.
Charles has given each Leeds City School employee $1,000.
And if that doesn’t seem like a lot, consider the fact that the school system employs 226 people.
Well done, Mr. Barkley.
Or — perhaps I should say — well played.
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