by Moxye Staff

NBA Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley and D.C.-based education technology firm EverFi Inc. are teaming up to change the way high school students learn about African-American history.

The pair is working together on a free digital course — EverFi’s “306: African-American History” — to engage students in the Mississippi Delta region, the company announced Tuesday. That area, from Mississippi to Alabama, includes Barkley’s hometown of Leeds, Alabama.

“I was born and raised in rural Alabama at the dawn of the Civil Rights era, and I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to American heroes like Medgar Evers, John Lewis, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” Barkley said in a statement. “Every child in my home state should have the keys to knowledge of their history so they can achieve great things in their own lives. This initiative helps accomplish that.”

The course — which has already reached 100,000 students across the country, including more than 17,000 in Alabama and Mississippi — aims to teach students about the contributions of African-Americans throughout history, from the worlds of academia, science, arts, music, sports and public service, according to a release. The goal is to teach the importance of civic engagement.

Barkley’s production company, Round Mound Media, will create a short documentary with Los Angeles-based creative agency Wondros. The film, starting with Alabama, will serve as a supplement to the course to help students explore topics relevant to their states more in-depth.

“Even in today’s advanced technological world, it’s rare that teachers have the adequate tools to bring to life the stories of pride, perseverance, and leadership that are so prevalent throughout African-American history,” EverFi CEO Tom Davidson said in a statement. “We’re incredibly excited to work with Charles to offer this digital initiative that makes African-American history readily accessible and allows students in Alabama and across the Mississippi Delta to reimagine how they see themselves through the lens of history.”

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