The New Black Tax And The Cost Of Being A Minority in Tech


Photo credit:

Inclusion isn’t cheap

If you are a black person in America, then you are probably familiar with the concept of the “Black Tax.” It’s the axiom that states black people must work harder than their counterparts to achieve similar outcomes. It might result from lower pay compared to coworkers in the same position. Perhaps your boss defers a long deserved promotion. Or, leadership delays recognition for a job well done. The Black Tax is the cost of doing business in America while black.

Learning from the past

I first learned about the Black Tax after studying black innovators of the past. My favorite, Garrett A. Morgan, invented the precursor to the modern gas mask and saved countless lives. No one wanted to buy his invention after discovering he was black, so he had a white man sell it while he pretended to be Native American. Another black inventor name Elijah McCoy (to whom the expression “the real McCoy” is traced), was also derided for being black as his peers referred to his locomotive lubricator as the “nigger cup.”

Read More