NOTE – I’m still on a blog sabbatical and working on some website upgrades. But as promised, still posting Reading Wednesday. Enjoy and we will be back with more fun blogs very soon.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I’m here in South Africa. I am here. It’s a pretty remarkable place, beautiful and sunny (and VERY WINDY) and friendly and very cosmopolitan. But, everywhere a visible economic divide. A big divide that I was struggling to understand.
We took the “apartheid” tour in Cape Town, to learn some history and get a bit more insight about the apartheid period that defined this country. It was on that tour that Trevor Noah’s “Born a Crime” was recommended. Our guide having also grown up in the color-separated country praised the book to help understand more in-depth how South Africa got here and what it was like and is like, living as a person of color in South Africa.
By all odds, Noah, the smart, funny, good-looking host of the Daily Show in the United States, shouldn’t be leading his successful career. He was “Born a Crime” in apartheid era South Africa when his parents (black mother and white father) broke apartheid law by having an interracial relationship and eventually a mixed race child.
During apartheid it was often illegal speak to someone from another race (let alone have sex with them), and the first years of Trevor’s life he was kept out of sight of the racially charged government and the laws that separated every part of people’s lives.
Noah was six when apartheid ended, but the end of apartheid did not mean the end to poverty, unemployment, violence. Noah’s hard-working, no-nonsense and fervently religious mother dedicated her life to him, and eventually his two younger brothers to keep them on track and (for the most part) out of trouble.
That’s not to say Noah was an angel of a child. Surviving growing up in the townships and schools of the time Noah writes in detailed hilarious voice about the time he burnt down some white folks house, when he spent the night in jail, when he pooped on the floor of the kitchen rather than go out in the rain to the outhouse, and numerous other boy and teen antics. All of which could have led him down the wrong path, but luckily for him, it built his character, his humor and eventually a career he now excels at.
“Born a Crime” is an eye-opening, educating and funny read that everyone should take the time for, whether or not you plan to visit South Africa. A little understanding of this country’s past and present, might have you recognizing familiar-sounding struggles of people and intolerance of color around the world, including in the USA.
Five Stars for Born a Crime.