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BLACK GOLD TURNS INTO PHILANTHROPY

Oprah Winfrey Gives $40 Million to CharityOprah

Winfrey is the most charitable celebrity – by a huge margin – giving away more than $40 million primarily through the Oprah Winfrey Foundation for causes including education and programs for women and children, according to a national philanthropic group. There are too many to mention. The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, formerly known as the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, provides support for the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls (OWLAG) in South Africa. The organization is registered as a Section 21 company in South Africa and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the U.S.


Dr. Dre is a rapper and music producer who first found fame as part of N.W.A.

In 2013 he joined with music producer Jimmy Iovine to donate a $70 million endowment to the University of Southern California to create the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation.


Sheila Johnson After the couple sold BET Holdings, which includes the BET channel, to media conglomerate Viacom in 2000 for $2.3 billion in stock, they split $1.5 billion of the proceeds, making Johnson one of the wealthiest African American women in the United States. Until recently, however, much of her philanthropy — including a $3 million gift to her son's school for a performing arts center and support for the equestrian activities favored by her daughter — benefited projects near her Virginia home. But Johnson has bigger philanthropic ambitions and, among other things, plans to establish her own foundation with $100 million in assets.

Johnson extended her philanthropy to New York last year, giving $7 million to the New York City-based Parsons School of Design and $1 million to the State University of New York at Morrisville.


Michael Jackson in 2000, The Guinness Book of World Records cited him as the most philanthropic pop star in history. Over his lifetime, he reportedly gave over $300 million dollars to charity, including to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, the NAACP, UNICEF, and the Red Cross, among dozens of others.

“When you have seen the things I have seen and travelled all over the world, you would not be honest to yourself and the world to [look away],” Jackson said.


Cathy Hughes’ philanthropic work is on par with her success in the business arena as well. Her passion for education is evident in her efforts to continue her family’s work and legacy at The Piney Woods School in Piney Woods, Mississippi. She is a staunch supporter of the school, which was established by her grandfather in 1909 and

is the largest of only four African-American boarding schools in the country. In addition, she is a champion for the hungry and homeless, a mentor to countless women, and an advocate dedicated to empowering minority communities. Most recently, the philanthropic foundation named after herself and her son Alfred C. Liggins III contributed $1 million towards the creation of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.


Lil Jon join 50 Cent, Jay-Z and Akon as household hip-hop names who have made valuable investments in our motherland.

The school is named Abomayaw D.A. Kindergarten. It is dedicated to Lil Jon’s late mother, Carrie Smith, and the Abomayaw Community. Located in eastern Ghana, many of the community’s children were getting sick or missing school because they held classes outdoors. That’s nice during good weather, but like all other tropical countries, Ghana has a rainy season that lasts for months. Before Lil Jon built a school all the way in Ghana, he used his 2011 appearance on “Celebrity Apprentice” to funnel $80,000 to the United Methodist Children’s Home in his birthplace, Atlanta. I’m highly in favor of us building internationally with our brothers and sisters in Africa and throughout the African diaspora. But until we can reach that far, there are plenty of needs right in our own backyard, okaaaaaay?


Prince was a Jehovah's Witness, so he was not allowed to speak publicly about any of his good acts, any of his charitable activity. Much of what can be gleaned with any certainty about Prince's philanthropy comes from public tax filings for his Love 4 One Another foundation.

Those filings indicate he gave $1.5 million to charity from 2005 to 2007. There are no filings after 2007. About 60 percent of the $1.5 million went to Jehovah's Witnesses organizations in Minneapolis and Las Vegas. Prince aid people and communities in myriad ways, from funding basketball leagues and environmental programs to paying hospital bills and training kids for promising technology jobs. And it was Prince who gave money to Trayvon Martin's family after the Florida teenager was killed in 2012. In a recent interview on MSNBC, Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, said Prince wanted no recognition. She said it was a shame she couldn't say anything until Prince was gone.


Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest basketball players of all time, but his influence extended far beyond the court. Bryant and his wife started the foundation to improve the lives of young people and their families. KVBF provides scholarships and operates Mamba FC, a youth soccer club that teaches young athletes how to become leaders and independent thinkers through sports.

Since 2011, the foundation has partnered with the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, Step Up on Second and homeless youth drop-in center My Friend's Place to provide comprehensive services to homeless kids in Los Angeles. Vanessa Bryant regularly visits the young parents at My Friend's Place and hosts an annual holiday celebration for them and their children. As a champion for after-school programming for all, Bryant gave frequent motivational speeches and raised money for the organization's Los Angeles chapter, which serves 14,000 students; 98% of those students are youth of color. Over the last 20 years, Bryant granted more than 250 wishes of children battling life-threatening illnesses through the Make A Wish Foundation. In 2012, he was part of an all-star telecast that raised more than $81 million for research through Stand up to Cancer. Bryant and his wife donated at least $1 million to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.


The $20 million gift to Spelman College by comedian Bill Cosby in1988 still remains the largest ever to a HBCU. Grammy-winning artist Cosby’s legacy of giving is decades-old and extensive, topped by a $20 million gift to Spelman College in 1988 and including, among many other donations, $3 million to the Morehouse School of Medicine; $1 million in 2004 to the U.S. National Slavery Museum in Fredericksburg, Virginia; and $2 million from Cosby’s wife, Camille, to St. Frances Academy in Baltimore in 2005.


Drake once, “Donated a million to some children, that’s just how I’m feeling.” This week, he didn’t quite get to a million, but Drake is donating to more than just “some children.”The Toronto-native has been giving out tens of thousands of dollars to people at Miami, Florida high schools, homeless shelters and even grocery stores. The total dollar amount donated reached at least $204,500, according to reports from the Miami Herald.