Born A Crime – Trevor Noah

Comedy Central Daily Show Host, Trevor Noah, 33, details his childhood in South Africa, first under the despotism of apartheid and then after. The son of a white father and a black mother, Noah was born a crime since race mixing was, at the time, illegal. Light-skinned, he never fit comfortably into any racial mold. This book is more a paean to his mother than anything else. Fiercely religious and a strict disciplinarian, she refused to accept the status quo and made sure he had books and an education. Though admirable, his mother had problems which culminated in her being shot by an angry ex-husband. She survived, but the ex-husband walked with three years probation since police in South Africa routinely make light of domestic abuse. Equally chilling are the racial incidents Noah describes like being stopped by cops who took him and his friends to jail for no reason other than to extort a bribe. Noah does not delve deeply into his adult success, but his mother did something right because he’s a good writer with the comedian’s ability to see irony and humor in even the most horrific situations.

6 thoughts on “Born A Crime – Trevor Noah

  1. Vivian, I have wanted to read Trevor Noah’s book since it first came out, got busy with other books, and now your “Best Books” account has given me renewed urgency to go to the library and take this book out. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Highly recommend it. He tells his story in a very accessible way. I don’t know much about South Africa and what went on over there but I do feel like I have somewhat of a better grasp now. He’s unflinching but still manages to be hopeful.


  2. The last one is precisely why I have so much respect and admiration for Trevor Noah. Remember him saying in an interview how balance and neutrality were key to his comedy and outlook on life in general. While those older than him can no doubt learn plenty from him, it’s comforting to know that the younger generation has someone worthy to look up to and take guidance from.


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