Saturday, February 22, 2014

Black Celebrities Exist to Economically Sustain the Rest of Us


I was recently and briefly tagged in a facebook meme.  At the time, I didn’t pay too much attention because I really did not want to get pissed off.  I have had that debate so many times with said individual that the only thing that came to my mind was, “Still! We are doing this again”?  You know I love a good debate.  Heck!  When I’m bored, I’ll take a bad debate.  However, this was the essence of the meme – a collage with Oprah, Beyoncé, Tyler Perry and Obama with the caption that they haven’t done anything to help black people, and if others criticize them, they are called haters.

I am not a diehard fan of Oprah, Beyoncé or Tyler, but I am a huge admirer of all three, and I certainly appreciate their work.  I think that they are hardworking people who have sacrificed a lot to get where they currently are.  If I have to tell you how much I love Barrack Obama, you have not been reading any of my posts.  But, every so often, there are new friends to the blog, so allow me to indulge a little bit.  I love the man!  Not like how I love my husband, of course.  Please, his wife and I are like this (fingers intertwined).  I love him like how I love Martin Luther King.  You get the drift, right!

Before I get to the facts, let me just throw in some common sense here.  Black people make up 12% of the more than 300 million people in America.  Why anybody who wants to be successful would exclude almost 90% of people they can reach makes no economical or practical sense.

Now here are the facts:

Oprah created Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls South Africa.  Okay, the ‘haters’ might say that that doesn’t count because it is not in America, but the fact that she added South Africa to the name implies to me that she will be creating more in other countries.

In 2005, one month after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Miss Winfrey announced that she will contribute $10 million of her own money towards recovery effort.  So this was not a Visa $1,000 give away.  This was not giving Pontiac cars to everyone in the entire audience.  This was her hard earned money that she gave to a worthy cause.  I don’t know how many Black people live in New Orleans, but after seeing footage from Katrina, I’d put the number at about …. a lot!

In 2000, Oprah donated $10 million to A Better Chance, a group that helps provide enhanced educational opportunities for African-American youth.

She is a big supporter of the Clinton Foundation which targets the treatment of HIV and AIDS.  Although Black people make up 12% of the population, in 2010, 44% of the people afflicted by HIV were black.

Oprah is the largest contributor to Free the Children, an organization dedicated to building schools for children in developing countries.  Not too many children in developing countries are White!

I could go on and on, but this lady contributes to dozens of charities, many of which directly help Black people.  Is she going to go out and buy sneakers for Black youths in inner cities?  God, I hope not!  So if that’s the help the ‘haters’ are demanding, then they need to search elsewhere.

When Tyler Perry gave Cicely Tyson a role in Diary of a Mad Black Woman in 2005, the last time she was really seen on the big screen was in 1991, when she appeared in Fried Green Tomatoes.  Since then, she has appeared in two more of his films and has been working steadily ever since.  He is responsible for reincarnating a number of other Black actors, who had been discarded by Hollywood.

Perry contributes to the following charities: Covenant House, Elton John AIDS Foundation, Keep A Child Alive, MaleSurvior and NAACP.  The NAACP and Elton John AIDS Foundation are self-explanatory, and Keep A Child Alive’s sole mission is to protect and assist children and their families suffering from HIV and AIDS.  Again, these charities assist millions of Black people.

Tyler Perry established the Tyler Perry Studios in Southwest Atlanta, one of the blackest areas in Atlanta, as if Atlanta could be any blacker.  This 200,000 sq. foot gem employs thousands of folks.  In 2009, cultural critic Jamilah Lemieux thanked Perry for employing numerous blacks in front and behind the cameras.

And of course, every celebrity has to have to his own foundation.  The Tyler Perry Foundation empowers economically advantaged youths, seniors and families in achieving better lives.

Beyoncé also contributes to dozens of charities, the biggest one being the Survivor Foundation, an organization she co-founded to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.  Some of her charities that directly affect Black people are American Foundation for AIDS Research and Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.  Others that indirectly assist Blacks concentrate on diabetes, hunger, poverty and child abuse.

President Barrack Obama is no multi-million dollar celebrity, and he still contributes to about 16 charities like NAACP, Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, CARE, Eracism Foundation, K.I.D.S., UMPS CARE and USAID, all of which have connection to HIV and AIDS and protecting disadvantaged youths or directly assisting Black people in some way shape or form.

While in office, President Obama has already accomplished so much, but these are some of the highlights:
v Passed Health Care Reform
v Passed the Stimulus
v Turned Around U.S. Auto Industry
v Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program, Expanded Pell Grant Spending
v Passed Fair Sentencing Act
v Improved School Nutrition
v Expanded Hate Crimes Protections
v Expanded Health Coverage for Children
v Provided Payment to Wronged Minority Farmers
v Helped South Sudan Declare Independence

If anyone cannot see how these fundamentally assist Blacks, then perspectively speaking, ‘haters’ will always be haters.

1 comment:

  1. As we get ready for general elections in Antigua, and I hear repeated, The government hasn't done anything for Antigua/Barbuda, I just shake my head. That simply means that I didn't get anything personally. People look beyond your wants and see the needs of your country.