Black Charitable Giving Surpasses That of Whites

A new study says that the myth of the selfish Black person is exactly that: a myth.

Posted: 01/12/2012 09:15 AM EST
Philantropy, donations, charitable giving, National News, African Americans

There are a lot of stereotypes about the Black community: that we’re selfish, that we’re angry, that we’re jealous of one another’s success. These kinds of nonsensical lies have plagued generations of African-Americans for literally centuries now, keeping us out of jobs, neighborhoods, public office and schools. But while old stereotypes die hard, a new study is out that should at least help some of these prejudices along in their journey toward the grave.


According to a new study from the WK Kellogg Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of needy children and families, African-Americans are not as selfish as the racists claim. The report, Cultures of Giving: Energizing and Expanding Philanthropy by and for Communities of Color, explores the rise of charity in communities of color. It finds that though most people may picture philanthropists as being old-money whites pitying people less fortunate, the people actually participating in charity look just like you and me. The report says that a full 63 percent of Latino households now donate to charity, and Blacks are actually 25 percent more likely than whites to give money away.


"Say the word ‘philanthropist,’ and most people envision wealthy white do-gooders writing large checks in the millions," Kellogg Foundation CEO Sterling Speirn wrote in a statement. “In recent years, the definition of philanthropy has begun to broaden to include a larger swath of human generosity, with any-size contributions not just from the wealthy but from people of every income bracket, including nurses, plumbers, hairdressers and civil servants, and growing giving among the Black, Latino, American Indian, Arab-American and Asian-American communities.”


Kellogg doesn’t get into why the disparity between Black and white giving exists, but it’s probably safe to assume that Blacks, having learned to deal with hardship for so long, find it important to give to others in need. Regardless of why it’s happening, it’s nice to see that it is. Many African-Americans may not be wealthy materially, but empathy is worth its weight in gold.


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