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Charles Barkley Pledges $1 Million to Fund Alabama Black Women’s Tech Startups

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley is putting his money where his political mouth is.

The Alabama native and former Auburn and NBA basketball star is pledging $1 million to help minority women start internet and technology businesses. Barkley said the pledge is part of a thank you to black women for their support of Doug Jones, the Democratic Senate candidate who pulled off a major upset against Republican Roy Moore on Tuesday (Dec. 12th).

“I’m proud of my people in Alabama,” Barkley said. “They really stood up this week. Black women really came out and supported Doug Jones.”

Barkley said he would pick the companies that would receive the startup funds, but added in typical Charles Barkley fashion, “This does not mean hair salons or restaurants, black women…no more weave shops.”

“It means start ups,” Barkley said.

Barkley was a vocal supporter throughout the campaign, urging Alabamians to “stop looking like idiots to the nation” by supporting Moore, a controversial candidate who faced allegations he had improper sexual contact with teenage girls in the 1970s.

After the Jones win, Barkley said he was proud of his home state.

“We’ve got some amazing people here. Yeah, we got a bunch of rednecks and a bunch of ignorant people, but we got some amazing people here and they rose up today,” Barkley said.

On CNN, the Hall of Famer addressed the Democratic Party and the loyal support of African Americans, reports The Intercept’s Shaun King: 

Well, this is a wakeup call for Democrats. … They’ve taken the black vote and the poor vote for granted for a long time. It’s time for them to get off their ass and start making life better for black folks and people who are poor.

They’ve always had our votes, and they have abused our votes and this is a wakeup call. We’ve got it in a great position now, but this is a wakeup call for Democrats to do better for black people and poor white people.

And King wrote in his article:

The disparity between the loyalty of black voters and Democrats’ efforts to bring them into the circles of political and financial power extends to the way the party spends its money. Of the $759 million the Democratic Party spent on contractors back in 2010, a dismal 1.5% was spent on African American groups.

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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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