It is an unwritten rule that if you are the first born in a not so well to do black family you somehow become the third parent to your siblings. Once you go through the necessary stages of life which are primary education, secondary education, college or campus, you will hustle your way out to get a job.
Sometimes getting that job is a real struggle. You send email after email, walk into office after office and drop your curriculum vitae in all the places you think of. There are times you will be called for an interview and get no feedback at all. No regret, no communication. You go hungry on most of the occasions because you don’t have enough money to buy lunch and facilitate you around at the same time.
Your phone is on all the time, it will be close to you just in case one of the employers you sent your curriculum vitae to decides to call with a job opening. The sleepless nights that you encounter drain all the energy from you. Why? Because your parents back home have invested all they had in educating you with the hope that once you succeed you will be able to help them out with your siblings. Since you do not want to be a disappointment, you will move heaven and earth to see that you succeed.
After the struggle, you finally land a job. This job comes with two types of taxes: the mandatory government tax and another type of tax called the black tax.
Because of the economic situation back home, rather than being free to use your education and skills to build wealth for yourself and your future family, you spend part of your life trying to bring everyone behind you back up to zero. It becomes your financial responsibility to provide for your siblings and sometimes your extended family.
Since your success is a result of combined efforts from your family and extended family, it goes without saying that it is your social responsibility to give back. The money you spend in supporting your siblings, parents, your extended family and everyone else who contributed to your success is what is referred to as to as black tax.
If you are one of those people who have to pay black tax, then there are things that you will have to forego. You will postpone advancing your education for a while. You will postpone buying yourself that fancy home or car. Your mandate at this point is to try and pull everyone else in the family to a certain level where they can stand on their feet before you can fully focus on yourself.
This piece is therefore dedicated to all the black taxpayers. You did not sign for this but somehow fate decided that you are strong enough to handle it. You may not have enough to cater for all those who pulled you up. Your support to them may not also be an enough thank you to them. Whatever you get may not even be enough for you. But due to your selfless nature, you help others rise to their feet so that they may also enjoy the fruits of life. May your good works bring you abundance and favor. You deserve a standing ovation.