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No Evidence BLM Leader Used Donations to Purchase Her Home

Rebecca Bowen Rebecca Bowen
15th April 2021
No Evidence BLM Leader Used Donations to Purchase Her Home
Cullors generates her own income from multiple avenues (Getty Images).

The Claim

Black Lives Matter movement co-founder Patrisse Cullors purchased her $1.4 million home with donation money.

Emerging story

Black Lives Matter movement co-founder Patrisse Cullors became the subject of controversy after buying a home in Topanga Canyon, California, a predominantly white and affluent area. On April 7th, the gossip website Dirt published an article about the purchase, and news sites picked up the story. People not only began criticizing the choice of location but also speculated on the activist’s finances. In a segment on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Fox News’ Candace Owens stated, “she has stolen money from other people on the pretext of a lie that is black lives matter and she has enriched herself and she has bought four homes.”

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Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s investigation revealed that there is no evidence that Cullors used BLM donations to purchase her house. An official statement from the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation said that Cullors is their executive director, but that “she serves in this role in a volunteer capacity and does not receive a salary or benefits.” The statement explained that Cullors has received a total of $120,000 since 2013 for duties such as serving as spokesperson and engaging in political education work, and that she has not received any compensation since 2019.

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Cullors receives income from many different avenues and is a successful professor, speaker, author, and activist. She is an associate professor at Prescott College, and a lecturer at Otis College of Art and Design There is no reliable information available about salaries at these particular schools but Indeed reports the average salary of an associate professor to be $75,790. Cullors’ salary could be on either side of this average. 

Her Prescott faculty page notes that she is an “artist, organizer, educator, and popular public speaker,” as well as having a best-selling memoir. Careertrend.com quotes the Author’s Guild that an author stands to make $65,625 in only the first week on the best-sellers list. Cullors reportedly made $10,000 for one speaking event, but we cannot assume that is her regular fee (it could be higher or lower). She has made several appearances in the past year. 

Cullors has also signed a multi-year deal for an undisclosed amount with Warner Bros. to produce documentary content.

While BLMGNF’s statement accuses “right-wing forces” of spreading false narratives, the home purchase is not going uncriticized within Cullors’s own movement: Hawk Newsome, the head of Black Lives of Greater New York, is requesting an investigation of her finances. Black Lives of Greater New York is not affiliated with Black Lives Matter Global Network.

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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