Michael Jordan Gives $5 Million To National Museum Of African American History

Michael Jordan gave $5 million to the National Museum of African American History & Culture, opening at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. next month. Jordan’s multi-million dollar donation was announced Monday, the Associated Press reports.

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According to a statement from the NBA great, he was moved to make the donation in memory of four-time Olympic gold medalist, Jessie Owens, and other black athletes who paved the way for him and others.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to support this museum,” Jordan, 53, 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.”

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The donation is the largest among given by an athlete to the Smithsonian, and will specifically aid in the museum’s exhibit exploring “how sports were used to break barriers as a way to gain full participation in American society.”

In addition, a section of the sports gallery will be named after Jordan.

Spanning 400,000 square-foot and holding more 36,000 artifacts, the museum is noted as the “only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture.”

The museum is set to open Sept. 24.