The Book

Giving Back belongs in every American home, not just every home of Americans of African descent. Each page connects the readers and the children they love to generosity that God, the Declaration of Independence and our awe-inspiring Black forebears taught us all . . . . A visual triumph. A story that has not been told!

 Claire Gaudiani, Ph.D., noted scholar on philanthropy and author of The Greater Good, Generosity Unbound and Daughters of the Democracy  

Giving Back: A Tribute To Generations of African American Philanthropists (ISBN: 978-0-89587-564-8) celebrates the giving spirit and vibrant philanthropic traditions among Americans of African descent. Rarely acknowledged as philanthropy, centuries-old cultural customs and beliefs nevertheless continue to have an impact on lives and communities. Images and narratives of more than 200 people commemorate the legacy of black philanthropists—from generous donors of wealth to ingenious givers carving a way out of no way.

In Giving BackValaida Fullwood poignantly chronicles the African American philanthropy experience. Intimate vignettes and candid reflections reveal a myriad of philanthropic practices grounded in faith, mutuality, and responsibility. Fullwood juxtaposes personal accounts from a cross section of black philanthropists with fascinating quotes from givers and game-changers across cultures to illuminate transcendent truths and elicit new thinking about philanthropy.

Photographer Charles W. Thomas Jr. beautifully captures images that portray the joy, aspiration, remembrance, and resilience that characterize black philanthropy. Pairing photographic portraiture and narrative, Thomas and Fullwood give readers over 160 artful page spreads that enliven the soul of philanthropy and honor the legacy of America’s black philanthropists.

A perfect gift book, Giving Back offers wells of inspiration for generous souls and lovers of photography, culture, and humanity. Every book purchased will keep giving, since the proceeds will be invested in philanthropic causes—and since the stories themselves will inspire readers to give.

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This philanthropic book project is in pursuit of the mission of the collective giving circle New Generation of African American Philanthropists—a giving circle that gives back. It was made possible by the generous contributions of 80 individual donors and nine sponsoring partners, which include: Foundation For The Carolinas, John S. and James L Knight FoundationHarvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + CultureThe Duke EndowmentNCGivesCharlotte Post FoundationPiedmont Natural GasCommunity Investment Network and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.

Giving Back is distributed by John F. Blair, Publisher
Book design by Casajulie Visual Communications

Giving Back is like chicken and dumplings for the giver’s soul . . . warm, familiar and filled with rich and nourishing content.


  1. […] Back AboutEvents10 Best Reframing portraits of […]

  2. […] book Giving Back is a centerpiece of the Giving Back Project, which aims to ignite a movement of conscientious […]

  3. […] are you currently reading? Let It Go: Forgive So You May Be Forgiven by Bishop T.D. Jakes and Giving Back by our very own CIN member, Ms. Valaida […]

  4. […] philanthropy? Reading, Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropist by Valaida Fullwood touched my fire. Why aren’t the charitable $11B from African American communities celebrated – […]

  5. […] And I want to thank…. My parents Ann and Allen My sister Diatra My extended family and ancestors who have provided ample examples of philanthropy, like my Aunt Dora and cousin Sheila Members of my giving circle New Generation of African American Philanthropists Charles W. Thomas, Jr. , photographer for Giving Back Donors and sponsors of the Giving Back Project […]

  6. […] Fullwood of NGAAP documents this history in her award winning book Giving Back. Recently, a touring exhibit of the book’s contents was launched with a grant from the Institute […]

  7. Vicki Meek · · Reply

    I have been looking for the link to buy the book and none seem to be working. How can I purchase a copy online?

    1. Hi Vicki

      Thanks for your interest and for reaching out. Please email me at to receive details on ordering “Giving Back”—the book that gives back.

      Every book purchased “keeps giving,” since 100 percent of proceeds go to NGAAP Charlotte and are invested in philanthropic causes—and because the stories themselves inspire readers to give.

      Best regards,


  8. […] among Americans of African descent, pulling in images and narratives from the award-winning book Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists by Valaida Fullwood and photographer Charles W. Thomas Jr. The Artists’ Statement frames the […]

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