400 years of black giving: From the days of slavery to the 2019 Morehouse graduation : The Conversation

When African American businessman Robert F. Smith declared during a Morehouse College commencement speech that he would pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of about 400 young men from the historically black school, he provoked a frenzy. Footage of the jubilant graduates immediately went viral, with an outpouring of hot takes on what the news meant.

As a historian of philanthropy, here’s what caught my eye: Smith said that he was making this roughly US$40 million gift on behalf of eight generations of his family with American roots.

On top of paying tribute to his ancestors, I see this generous act as an extension of the underappreciated heritage of African American philanthropy that began soon after the first enslaved Africansdisembarked in Virginia in 1619.


Source: 400 years of black giving: From the days of slavery to the 2019 Morehouse graduation : The Conversation

This Teenager’s Sweet 16th Birthday is NOT All About Her

This is an example, not only to the young of today, but to us all. We hear so much of people taking and not of people giving, this is indeed an act to be cheerished.

Kindness Blog

Nubia Wilson, 16, of Antioch, holds a 17th century Ethiopian Orthodox manuscript at her home in Antioch, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News GroupAn Antioch teenager’s Sweet 16 birthday won’t be a celebration of excess or even focus on her. Instead, it will be used to help orphans half way across the planet.

Nubia Wilson decided a birthday party wasn’t the right thing to do, especially after she volunteered in Ethiopia earlier this year, witnessing first hand extreme poverty and seeing children in the streets walking barefoot to school. The school only goes up to fourth grade, so Wilson is trying to add a fifth grade class. The starting point was telling family and friends in December she didn’t want a big birthday party.

In lieu of birthday gifts, the 16-year-old sophomore at the all-girl Carondelet High School in Concord asked family and friends for donations and raised $2,000 for The Fregenet Foundation, an Ethiopian-based charity that runs a school for orphaned or impoverished schoolchildren there.

“I realized that I could give up…

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