Born A Crime
Stories From A South African ChildhoodBook - 2016
From Library Staff
You may know Trevor Noah as the host of The Daily Show. Noah’s confident and masterful storytelling translates well to the page. Born a Crime is a humorous memoir paying homage to his mother and recording his upbringing in the townships of South Africa. Noah contextualizes colonialism, apartheid,... Read More »
Born a Crime chronicles Trevor Noah’s childhood in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. His stories about culture, politics and parenting are hilarious, heartbreaking, and thought provoking. It may be the most uplifting book you read this year.
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"In the [neighbour]hood, even if you're not a hardcore criminal, crime is in your life in some way or another. There are degrees of it. ... The hood made me realized that crime succeeds because crime does the one thing the government doesn't do: crime cares. Crime is grassroots. Crime looks for the young kids who need support and a lifting hand. Crime offers internship programs and summer jobs and opportunities for advancement. Crime gets involved in the community. Crime doesn't discriminate." (p. 209)
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When Trevor Noah was born in South Africa in 1984, his existence was literally illegal, proof that his black, Xhosa mother and his white, Swiss-German father had violated the Immorality Act of 1927, one of the many laws defining the system known as apartheid. The crime carried a punishment of four to five years in prison, and mixed race children were often seized and placed in state-run orphanages. But Noah’s mother was determined and clever, and she managed to hold onto her son, refusing to flee her home country in order to raise him. But it made his childhood complicated, even after apartheid officially ended in 1994. Racial hierarchies and inequities persisted, and despite receiving a good education, his upbringing was anything but easy. In a series of essays, Born a Crime chronicles Noah’s experience growing up under apartheid and its aftermath.
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