The NBA’s All-Star Game will begin Sunday with a video chat between Vice President Kamala Harris and actor Michael B. Jordan.
The exact details of the conversation were not reported ahead of the game, but one of the charitable efforts of this year’s All-Star Game is set to raise $3 million for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and the vice president is the first graduate of a black college to serve in one of the nation’s top two offices, the New York Post reported.
Tonight, TNT’s 2021 #NBAAllStar Game coverage will open with a special conversation between Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP Harris) and award-winning actor Michael B. Jordan (@michaelb4jordan) at 8 PM ET. pic.twitter.com/3xqcG5sMnr
— NBA (@NBA) March 7, 2021
Harris graduated with a BA from Howard University before going on to earn her law degree. Founded in 1867, Howard is a mostly black research university located in Washington D.C. Some of its more well-known graduates include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, House members Douglas Wilder, Andrew Young, and Elijah Cummings, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison, and actors Chadwick Boseman, Isaiah Washington, and Taraji P. Henson.
Jordan, who is also a graduate of Howard, has said that HBCU’s helped “shape me into the man I am today.”
The game will begin with a performance by the Clark Atlanta University’s Philharmonic Society Choir as they sing the “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” the so-called “black national anthem.” In addition, representing her alma mater, Shaw University, singer Gladys Knight will perform the Star-Spangled Banner.
The league also chose an all-black referee crew. Refs Tom Washington, Tony Brown, and Courtney Kirkland each graduated from an HBCU.
“We are here representing HBCUs and trying to shed light on their ability to dream and one day have the opportunity to follow in our footsteps,” ref Tony Brown recently said. “So, this game is mainly about giving people hope and allowing them an opportunity to dream.”
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