Black Americans donate higher share of income than whites

Research revealed that despite having a lower net worth, Black communities are more charitable than whites.

In a 10-part series for Washington Post, Michelle Singletary authored examinations on common misconceptions involving race and inequality through her personal experience. She uncovered that Black Americans invest differently than white citizens and donate income to their communities.

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Singletary was asked by a financial planner, “are you sure you want to give that much?” questioning the 10 percent of our gross income she and her husband gave to their church. The financial professional encouraged those funds to be placed in the stock market to gain more money. To the author, however, tithing is an investment with a great return, and data revealed she is not alone.

Black charity
(Credit: Adobe Stock

“Nearly two-thirds of Black households donate to community-based organizations and causes, to the tune of $11 billion each year, according to a joint 2012 study from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors,” the article reported. “Black households on average give away 25 percent more of their income per year than Whites.”

“We have to change the perspective on how we think about Black giving and giving in communities of color,” said Alandra Washington, the Kellogg Foundation’s vice president for transformation and organizational effectiveness according to the article. “We know from historical context that Black communities have been givers from the time of slavery to reconstruction to where we are now.”

According to Urban Institute, of all racial or ethnic groups in the dataset, Black families have contributed the largest proportion of their wealth to charity. The data cited Black families as being more likely to have traditions centered on giving than their nonBlack counterparts, and experience more fulfillment from giving.

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“We know that it is this kind of giving and this kind of ancestral love and generosity and strength that has carried Black folks through moments of joy and injustice,” said Ciciley Moore, program officer for the Kellogg Foundation according to the Post. “We see our partners dispelling the myths of Black donors every day, especially during a year like 2020, where there is a greater need.”

Black charity
(Credit: Adobe Stock)

NewsOne spoke to Valaida Fullwood, author of Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists, who said the tradition of giving is due to the Black community’s need to rely on each other and not depend on outside sources.

“Being historically oppressed intensifies our desire to make a difference when we have the resources,” Fullwood said to the new outlet. “The sense of mutuality is high—that’s the old saying ‘But for the grace of God go I.’ Your well-being is linked to mine.”

She continued, “In America, we’ve had to rely on each other in ways that other racial and ethnic groups have not.”

theGrio reported in August that outdated misconceptions around Black people and money management should be left in the past. Reparations expert and Duke University Economics Professor William ‘Sandy’ Darity, said Black and white savings rates are comparable for some demographics, and in multiple sub-groups, Black people have higher savings rates according to the report.

“The core explanation for Black-white disparities in the United States particularly the wealth disparity is structural rather than being a consequence of dysfunctional behavior on the part of Black folks,” Darity said. “A lot of people like the dysfunction argument. One reason is because it ultimately places the responsibility for the disadvantage on Black folks themselves. However, in doing so, it also suggests that if Black folks could only do the right things then the right things would happen to Black people.”

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