I saw an instagram meme that posed the question "What does the black community have to show for its $450 Billion in black church tithes?" Many responded in the comments that the black community has "NOTHING" to show for its giving to the black church.
Now this question is not asked of the NBA players/organizations (Shout out to Lebron James for the iPromise School), rap artists, NFL players/teams, actors, R&B singers, politicians and retail outlets who receive billions of black dollars annually.
Recognizing that there are a few wolves in sheep's clothing that take advantage of their congregations, we realize that these are exceptions to the thousands of black churches and leaders who are sacrificing for the black community daily. The presumptuous question is intended to demean the significance of the black church by those who like children assume food magically arrives in their parents refrigerators every morning.
But to answer the question I came up with a few things:
1. Weddings services for black couples
2. Training for most of your top artists who grew up singing or playing instruments in church.
3. Funeral services for black families
4. Marital Counseling
5. Pre-marital Counseling
6. Divorce Counseling
7. Hospital visitations
8. Black Charter schools, Day Care/Pre-School operations and HBCU support
9. Youth buildings, programs and centers for strengthening black young people
10. College Scholarships for future black college students (not to mention meals for current College students away from home)
11. Food Banks and Pantries for black food insecurity
12. Financial planning training for black wealth
13. Clothes giveaways
14. Light bills paid to keep black families power on
15. Prayer for physical and emotional healing
16. Social action sites for black causes and and mobilization for community service
17. Tutoring programs to support black education
18. Elderly care and support for black grandparents
19. Housing and homeless programs for black gentrification and support black homeless
20. Homebuying training for black homeownership
21. Voting drives and sites for black political empowerment
22. Preaching that has prevented domestic violence, suicide, abortions, drug use, prostitution while giving hope, encouragement and comfort
23. Gang intervention programs to rescue black youth
24. Backpack and School supplies giveaways
25. Drug, alcohol and substance abuse rehab programs
26. Preaching that has inspired the upward mobility of black entrepreneurs, homeowners and career professionals
27. Marriage and Parenting events to build the black family
28. Disaster response and recovery efforts
29. Leadership opportunities, training and skills learned in the black church that are transferable to corporate America
30. The millions of dollars in building rent, mortgages, facilities costs, utilities, staffing and volunteer hours where these things take place.
I'm pretty sure this is nowhere near an exhaustive list. Feel free to add your churches contribution. But I have a counter question: What other institution makes this type of investment into the black community?