December 1, 2011; Source: NewsOneNewsOne yesterday listed their “Top 7 Black Philanthropists,” and here they are!

  • Oprah Winfrey—Oprah’s Angel Network, the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation—have donated more than $300 million;
  • Michael Jackson—one of the first celebrities to come out with support in the fight against Aids, Jackson’s donations in this area are estimated at $300 million;
  • Bill Cosby—Cosby made a $20 million gift to Spellman college (which is one of the largest ever given to a historically black college), a $1.3 million to Fisk University, and founded the Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation for children with learning differences;
  • Tom Joyner—the Tom Joyner Foundation has raised more than $55 million for students to continue their educations at historically black colleges and universities, and he has also given to AIDS/HIV programs;
  • Russell Simmons—Simmons has directed millions of dollars through his Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, and his Hip Hop Summit Action Network has directed millions of dollars to serve urban youth. He has also helped to establish two arts exhibits and education facilities;
  • Magic Johnson—The Magic Johnson Foundation funds programs that address the educational, health and social needs of ethnically diverse urban communities. “Johnson has also invested large sums in the revitalization of urban neighborhoods across the U.S., opening retail establishments, which helped to create jobs in some of the most underserved communities.”
  • Wyclef Jean—Jean’s charitable work has focused on his native Haiti, although his charitable efforts have come under fire of late with reports in the New York Post questioning how much of the money raised for Haiti has actually been spent there.

—Ruth McCambridge