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Denzel Washington has never been one to go back on his word.

So, it’s no shock to us that he’s revisiting a promise he made in 2007 to the Wiley College debate team. Wiley College, an HBCU located in (Marshall) Texas, recently received the fourth $100,000 installment of the $1 million initially promised by the Washington’s Family Foundation.

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Washington first donated $1 million to the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) in 2007 to support the re-establishment of its debate program, which had been inactive since the early 1900s, when it was led by famed English professor and poet, Melvin B. Tolson. Washington starred in and directed the film, “The Great Debaters,” which chronicled the history of the school’s debate team under Tolson’s mentoring and coaching.

The funds will be earmarked to cover debate team expenses as well as scholarships, reports Black Enterprise.

 

 

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“Being a dominant force as home of The Great Debaters makes us a very attractive option for those skilled in debate, and this financial support further amplifies the benefits of becoming a Wiley debate scholar,”  Wiley College President Dr. Herman J. Felton said in an announcement.

Denzel Washington starred as the 2007 film “The Great Debaters,” portraying professor Melvin B. Tolson. He led the Wiley College team to a 10-year win streak in the 1930s.

“Supporting the next generation of brilliant minds in the art of debate at Wiley College will open so many doors of opportunity for these students during college, career, and beyond,” Washington said in a statement. “We are honored to continue supporting the best and the brightest in the land and look forward to The Great Debaters continuing to do what they do best, win.”

Indeed, this is a tradition and memory whose flame must be kept burning at all costs.

 

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Denzel Washington Through the Years
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