Should Black Celebrities Be Expected To Give Back To Their Communities?

May 24, 2013  |  
Source: WENN


From Essence

Dr. Dre ruffled some feathers recently when he joined forces with Jimmy Iovine in donating $70 million to the University of Southern California to create the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation. Some feel that Dr. Dre’s portion, $35 million, would be better used at a Historically Black College or University.

Walter M. Kimbrough, the president of Dillard University, expressed his disappointment in Dre’s decision via an op-ed piece published in the LA Times. “…What if Dre had given $35 million—his half of the USC gift and about 10% of his wealth, according to a Forbes estimate—to an institution that enrolls the very people who supported his career from the beginning?

What’s your opinion on the matter? When celebrities give, are they responsible for giving back to the Black community first before giving to others?


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  • yvonne watkins

    Of course anyone can give his or her money to whomever they choose. But just think of how much good that money could have done for a tutoring program in Compton, or to pay for after school programs that focus on learning the basics? College is not for everybody, but everybody needs to know how to read at least as 12th grade level.

  • OhForTheDay

    Now, why [they] wanna go and do that, Love, huh? Dr. Dre has collaborated with another contributing artist (Iovine)…and they rightfully invested in a DIVERSE art institution. Iovine isn’t of African descent; and Dr. Dre (wisely) caters to a nicely diverse demographic of followers. It’s time for ‘us’ to stop taking stuff so personally. If it’s significant donations sought for ‘Us’ then ‘We’ need to significantly improve our overall statistics. There’s not enough time to make a list (not that I need to, SMH) – but until ‘We’ improve our overall statistics, why SHOULD a zillionaire pour their money into a jar with a hole in the bottom [our derelict youth being reared by ratchet ignorant disgraces to the Race)? I wouldn’t. And neither would you. Admit it.

  • Guest360

    I don’t think anyone should be expected to do anything. At the end of the day, it’s his money and he can decide what he wants to do with it. It’s none of my business where he’s putting it. It’s called charity for a reason. I say leave him alone. He’s from Cali so of course he’s going to help out those in his home state. Not to mention just because it’s USC, doesn’t mean that there aren’t people that go there that can’t be benefited from his help. There are definitely poor/less fortunate kids that go there on full rides and where do you suppose they get their scholarships from? Hmmm……lol

  • Tonyoardee

    One he is giving back to the community. 2. there arent any HBCUs in california

    • Dasani

      So his money is only good in California? Giving to Harvard would also be giving back to the community, but they don’t need the money either.
      I love the way the “Black people never support each other” critics come out in full force when Tyler Perry releases a movie, or when something bad happens in the inner cities, but when a black celeb decides to give money to a predominately white upper middle class university they are chanting a different tune.

  • Candacey Doris

    I’m not mad at him. He’s from Cali and that’s where he wanted to donate his money. I didn’t go to an HBCU. And the arts are not color locked. Tons of people need that money to get through their program. Don’t hate MN, appreciate. So many artists aren’t giving any money at all.

    • OhForTheDay

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. I wish MN would honor an “Upliftment Only” policy for their articles…..but I AM reading this isht though, ain’t I? :/

  • keesha

    Why are people acting like only white people will go to USC??? It’s ricidulous! And why do people always assume that only black people need the money and the programs??? I mean, I’m black, but everyone in any race needs help.

    • Dee D

      USC’s black student population is 5% and the average family income for a student that attends USC is six figures. Most of the students that go to USC don’t qualify for government funded financial aid because their families make too much money. So no, USC did not need the money. I’m not saying he should have given the money to a HBCU, but with so many universities and even public schools that have to cut programs to save money it could have been given to a school more in need.

      • keesha

        ” I’m not saying he should have given the money to a HBCU, but with so many universities and even public schools that have to cut programs to save money it could have been given to a school more in need.”

        Well, I agree with this. I didn’t know that only 5% of USC’s students were black, but what about the other races of people? Why can’t Dr. Dre give money to Asian or Hispanic people? What’s wrong with that? And who’s to say that he hasn’t already given any money to HBCU’s or organizations and programs that help us black people?

        • Dee D

          Of course there is nothing wrong with wanting to help other people, but what is the point of helping out people who are not in need. If Eva Longoria had 50 million to give to a school you better believe she would give it to a school with a high enrollment of Mexicans or Hispanics, because she wants to see her people advance and succeed. I doubt that she would give it to Harvard or Princeton just to show off and I also doubt very much that she would give it to an HBCU. You make sure your family is fed before you start dishing out servings for others. This is how most communities operate, other than the black community anyway.

          I’m not sure if Dre has given money to help black organizations but this is the first time he has given money to any University.

        • FromUR2UB

          It doesn’t make the news when black people do something to benefit other black people. So, you’re right, he may have made donations to HBCUs and organizations, and it was just never publicized. There is an old saying, I think it may be biblical in origin, that says, “Charity begins at home”. So it’s my hope that he has done that.

  • Say What?

    So because he’s black he should only donate money to black people? Also the majority of the people who supported his music from the beginning are around his age now and therefore wouldn’t benefit from money donated to any college. Add in the fact that he’s building the institution in California, which is his home state and it sounds even more ridiculous. People are acting as if black people won’t be allowed to attend. Stop reaching.

  • Nope

    “….to an institution that enrolls the very people who supported his career from the beginning?”

    And that would still be White and Asian kids if we’re talking about who supports (meaning who BUYS) hip hop. This whole thing is a dumb argument.

    • Get To The Choppa

      Sorry your wrong black youth supported his music from the very beginning. While a member of NWA back in the late 80’s early 90’s they became the first rap group to go platinum without major radio play with their initial album of Straight out of Compton. The group that initially supported is black youth I know I was one of them, mainstream media banned NWA for their anti-establishment/police message that directly spoke to growing undercurrents of the time within the black community.

      • Nope

        lol, trust me, I don’t need to be educated about hip hop. White kids, and to some degree Asians, are the primarily demographic that financially supports hip hop (buys music, goes to concerts, etc.). Maybe you should look those stats up. Yes, hip hop is “our” culture and a lot of us are protective of it, but what I said still holds true. We certainly didn’t make it a billion dollar and international industry/culture on our own. Lets be real. The hood, anti-establishment, etc. are much less fascinating to Black folks because a lot of us live it/have lived it, so we don’t tend to buy the hip hop culture in massive amounts. That would be buying what we already know/experience.

        • FromUR2UB

          You’re missing a bit of the point. Whites and other races come on board AFTER blacks become an established name. That’s true in entertainment, business and politics. Successful blacks, more times than not, began with a black base who supported their efforts from the beginning. Think of the group Frankie Beverly and Maze, for example, which is probably one of the most successful groups that whites never heard of. They may not make Dr. Dre’s money, butt they have survived for over 35 years and still sellout concerts.

      • Nope

        I’m not sure if I can give links on here, but Google an article from the Wall Street Journal called ”
        Is the Conventional Wisdom Correct In Measuring Hip-Hop Audience?”

        You’re entitled to your opinion, but not the facts.

  • I’m confused. I thought Dr. Dre was from California, if he decides to donate money to a University in California isn’t he giving back to his community? Why would he donate money to a school that he has no ties with? He has a right to donate his hard earned money where he sees fit.

    • Kenedy

      Thank you. Plus, a lot of people like to assume that most black people go to HBCU’s, this is simply not true, a lot of us did not, me included, so giving to a non-HBCU still trickles down to some black people.

      • FromUR2UB

        I don’t believe the assumption is that most black people go to HBCUs – at least, among black people – but it’s still true that the student populations of HBCUs are predominantly black. Plus I’ve never heard that he attended any school, and USC probably has no ties to Compton.

  • Na Na

    Here’s the thing, the responsibility is on us as a consumer not Dr. Dre. Just like I’m not bogus for eating Pop Eye’s over Harold’s Chicken just because it’s Black Owned. However what I can do is use my buying power to support artists and head phone makers that give back to a population that I’m included in. Let Dre spnd his money how he wants, and I’ll spend mines like I want AKA not with him!