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Michael Jordan donates record $5 million to African American museum

By Ananth Pandian, CBS Sports

NBA legend Michael Jordan has been in a giving mood lately.

A few weeks after donating $1 million each to to the Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Jordan made an even larger donation on Monday to help support the arts. According to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Jordan donated a record $5 million to the museum. The museum is on schedule to open in late September and once it does open, it will have a section of its sports gallery named after Jordan.

From Peggy McGlone of the Washington Post:

The gift, the largest from a sports figure to the 19th Smithsonian museum, pushes private donations to the museum to $278 million. Including federal aid, the museum, which President Obama will open on Sept. 24, has raised more than $548 million.

The Chicago Bulls also gave a jersey that Jordan wore during the 1996 NBA Finals to the museum’s permanent collection. In recognition of the gifts, the museum will name a section of its sports gallery the Michael Jordan Hall.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to support this museum,” Jordan said in a statement. “I also am indebted to the historic contributions of community leaders and athletes such as Jesse Owens, whose talent, commitment and perseverance broke racial barriers and laid the groundwork for the successful careers of so many African Americans in athletics and beyond.”

Museum Founding Director Lonnie Bunch expressed gratitude for Jordan’s contribution. “His gift will enable our visitors to explore how sports were used to break barriers as a way to gain full participation in American society,” Bunch said in a statement.

Quite the generous donation by Jordan. And while Jordan gets a section of the museum named after him because of it, his gift is far more important as it helps persevere African American history and cultural. It truly is a gift that will keep on giving.

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