Does Being Black Mean I Have To Donate To Black Charities?

dr-dre-jimmy-Iovine

Dr. Dre recently teamed up with Jimmy Iovine to donate $70 million to the University of Southern California. They are starting the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology, and Business. After the story was released, I read a couple blog posts and talked to a couple people who were less than pleased about Dr. Dre donating such a large sum of money to a predominately white institution. Would Dr. Dre’s portion of the donation ($35 million) be better spent at an HBCU?

Walter M. Kimbrough, president of HBCU Dillard College, wrote to the LA Times and expressed his displeasure with the decision:

“Make no mistake: This donation is historic. It appears to be the largest gift by a black man to any college or university, comparable to the gift Bill Cosby and his wife, Camille, gave to Spelman College in 1988. But as the president of a black college, it pains me as well. I can’t help but wish that Dre’s wealth, generated as it was by his largely black hip-hop fans, was coming back to support that community.”

I’m not going to say that Dr. Dre was wrong for his decision. Anyone who donates any amount of money to the education system in America should be applauded. $35 million will help a lot of students get an education who may not have had the opportunity had it not been for Dr. Dre’s donation. The HBCU alum in me does feel what Kimbrough is saying though.

As African-Americans, we have been heavily criticized for not supporting and giving back to our race and this would have been a great opportunity for Dr. Dre to make a statement to how important that is. Many African-American celebrities have been criticized for not doing enough for the African-American community. Just go talk to Oprah.

Hopefully USC takes heed to at least one of the points Kimbrough makes in his article, “I do hope it will recruit and enroll a diverse class of students and not become some enclave for the already privileged student body there.”

I also hope Dr. Dre’s donation will mean he has an active role in how that program is set up and in selecting students who will participate.

Let us know what you think and leave a comment below.

 

 

 

 

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