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.

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  • Pamela

    I posted a comment on oprahs page some time ago asking for help,I know that she can’t help everybody .even though she never responded it would be nice to read and respond to some of them ,not to just give a hand out but to see if there would be a way to help somebody and show them along the way how to get where you are today.I would give anything to be a part of a movie or something for pay rather than just ask somebody for thier money.

  • Paul

    First of all the “average” middle and low income person probably doesn’t have as much free time or resources to set aside for so called charity work. We’re too busy using our most productive hours trying to earn the money to pay for the necessities. We work MORE hours now than we did in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Doesn’t leave a lotta time for charity work.

    If people are working longer hours and producing MORE but NOT getting PAID more, then who is getting the beneifts of our increased productiity?

    The profits from OUR LABOURS go to the kinds of wealthy corporations that employ the likes of Opra.

    Furthermore, most volunteering and charity works are done by middle and low income people.

    So get your facts right.

    Secondly, rich people didn’t become rich by hard work or by being innovative. They become rich off other people’s hard work..

    For example, a “slave” owner doesn’t become rich by HIS hard work he becomes rich from “his” “slaves” hard work.

    Out of the “slaves” productivity he allocates a portion for the “slaves” to live on, the rest he keeps for himself. If the fruits of the slaves labour were shared out EQUALLY among the “slaves” WHO DO THE WORK there would be nothing left over to make “slave owners” rich.


    That’s how it is today – if people were paid the FULL AMOUNT that their job is worth there would be NO PROFIT for somebody to appropriate and call himself rich.


    It just goes to show what kind or “work” people value when useless media personalities who don’t produce any real value to society are paid huge sums of money, while those do the actual of work of maintaining the social and structural integrity of the society, eg teachers, construction workers, garbage men, post men, transport workers, healthcare workers etc, are grossly underpaid and UNDER APPRECIATED.

    And why do we need a charity establishment anyway? Charities only provide services that GOVERNMENT should provide.

    I couldn’t give a vinegar F . . . about Oprah’s (and other blood suckers of her ilk) so called charity work. All it amounts to when a rich person does charity is taking wealth from one set of people to make yourself rich and give tiny amounts of what you STOLE to another set of people to make yourself look –


    Bit like a “slave owner” using his blood money to make donation towards the repair of a work house for the poor.

    kiss teet

    Once again the media shows its brilliance at “reporting” non-issues and ignoring the REAL issues.

    You can let this post or not but these ideas ARE NOT going away.

  • marcus

    I get what this guy was trying to say but was saying it wrong…I think that a person of her power need to use her mouth piece a lot more..and have specials and programs on how can we fix or lower the percentage of our struggles…Preach to these young black women and let them know they can be her..When a black person is mistreated she seems to be missing..and in my eyes she has to much power to not use it..more then mlk and Malcolm x.. that’s what I mean when I say giving back