“Many black families spend all of their time trying to fix the problems of the past. That is the curse of being black and poor, and it is a curse that follows you from generation to generation. My mother calls it “the black tax.” Because the generations who came before you have been pillaged, rather than being free to use your skills and education to move forward, you lose everything just trying to bring everyone behind you back up to zero.” Trevor Noah, Born a Crime.
Trevor calls it “black tax”, I call it generational tax” because if you don’t break it, the cycle may never end. A lot of first borns, born into poor families are paying this generational tax by virtue of being the first born or sometimes a younger sibling who is financially capable is paying this generational tax. Some drop out of school to work to cater for their siblings. Others manage to go to school but they are only entitled to 1/10th of their salary. They become parents at an early age and do not have a life of their own.
I once saw a Facebook post blessing and encouraging all first borns. Beneath it was a comment which read ” Apuu, who said they are all good, you will call them and they will never answer your call”. Do we even think about their needs too, or all we know is asking them for money? They try to save something for themselves but once a coin hits their accounts, there comes a message, grandma has swallowed a cutlass and needs money for surgery. We all have blood flowing through our veins, they too get tired from all these responsibilities. I am not in any way suggesting that first borns should not support their families. All I’m saying is that you all cannot depend on them. We all know what a dog full of blood sucking ticks looks like after a while.
Siblings should be considerate and frugal in their spendings. They also need to work harder to reduce the burdens on the breadwinner of the family. To our first borns, why don’t you set up a business for them, from which they can cater for themselves rather than giving them money all the time?Develop a holy anger against poverty. Make sure your children do not pay this generational tax, they never asked to be born.
We know you are making a lot of sacrifices for us, thanks so much. Don’t cry about this burden. “Life is full of pain, let this pain sharpen you, but don’t hold on to it.”
I got my inspiration from reading Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime. Truly readers tell no tales, make reading a habit. Don’t forget to leave a comment after reading.