We’ve all heard the quote “To whom much is given, much is required,” but when it comes to giving back to their communities, black celebrities are often held to a higher standard than everyone else.
Recently, a Twitter user challenged media mogul Oprah Winfrey, asking why the billionaire wasn’t doing more to help “the ghetto.” While I’m almost certain he wasn’t expecting a response, the young man got more he bargained for: a challenge.
Despite her immense wealth and Oprah’s penchant to give back to others, I’ve heard black folks on more than one occasion wonder why she hasn’t done more to help the black community. However, as Oprah pointed out in her succinct tweet, she’s given millions to HBCUs, Morehouse in particular, and is responsible for helping more than 500 young black men finish college (not to mention her other charitable giving). The group, dubbed Sons of Oprah, have also pledged to “pay it forward” and have pledged $300,000 to help other black men attend college.
In spite of her efforts, however, some people will never be satisfied with Oprah’s commitment to give back and will demand she, and other celebrities, do more. But is it fair?
As Oprah pointed out, she’s doing her part, but are we?
While folks complain about what celebrities aren’t donating their time or money to uplift our communities, I wonder if those same people are supporting charities or spending their weekends volunteering in their communities. I’m willing to wager most who complain about what Oprah or Jay-Z or Magic Johnson aren’t doing, aren’t the ones helping to make their communities better either.
While I think black celebrities and policy makers do have responsibility to reinvest in the communities that helped them become successful, everyday folks have the same responsibility.