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Black Tax

Category: Sociology: Customs & Traditions
ISBN:   9781868429745
Publisher:  Jonathan Ball Publishers
On sale: September 2019
List price: R260
Format: Paperback
eBook ISBN
9781868429752 

Black Tax: Burden or Ubuntu?


Niq Mhlongo Ed


The real significance of this book lies in the fact that it tells us more about the everyday life of black South Africans. It delves into the essence of black family life and the secret anguish of family members who often battle to cope.’Niq Mhlongo

A secret torment for some, a proud responsibility for others, ‘black tax’ is a daily reality for thousands of black South Africans. In this thought-provoking and moving anthology, a provocative range of voices share their deeply personal stories.

With the majority of black South Africans still living in poverty today, many black middle-class households are connected to working-class or jobless homes. Some believe supporting family members is an undeniable part of African culture and question whether it should even be labelled as a kind of tax.

Others point to the financial pressure it places on black students and professionals, who, as a consequence, struggle to build their own wealth. Many feel they are taking over what is essentially a government responsibility.

The contributions also investigate the historical roots of black tax, the concept of the black family and the black middle class.

In giving voice to so many different perspectives, Black Tax hopes to start a dialogue on this widespread social phenomenon.

Niq Mhlongo is an award-winning novelist, writer of short stories and screenplays (for radio and television), as well as a travel journalist. His fiction, which includes the novels Dog Eat Dog (2004) and After Tears (2007), has received critical acclaim and has won or been shortlisted for a number of literary awards. His work has also been translated into several languages, including French, Dutch, German, Spanish and Italian. Mhlongo has been a writing fellow at a number of institutions around the world. Most notably, he was invited to participate in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.   

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