Born A Crime
Stories From A South African ChildhoodBook - 2016
From Library Staff
Book to be discussed on December 4, 2018, at 7 p.m., Douglas County Libraries in Parker
October 9, 2018.
James H. LaRue meeting room
DCLadults Feb 22, 2017
This collection of personal essays tells the hilarious and moving story of The Daily Show host, from his illegal birth to a white father and black mother in apartheid South Africa, to his growing up and coming of age in the turmoil of the post-apartheid environment, with his remarkable mother by ... Read More »
Mayflower94 Feb 11, 2017
Nothing like living in apartheid South Africa as a colored person, yes, not a black but a colored person. Trevor Noah's memoir of growing up with a black mother and a secret (although unwillingly) white father is heart wrenching yet hilarious. It gives me some insights on race and poverty. Highly... Read More »
mdellapenna Dec 08, 2016
Wonderfully written book! It's an interesting glimpse into what life was like in South Africa during apartheid. Funny, and serious, and gripping all at the same time.
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
People thought my mom was crazy. Ice rinks and drive-ins and suburbs, these things were izinto zabelungu—the things of white people. So many black people had internalized the logic of apartheid and made it their own. Why teach a black child white things? Neighbors and relatives used to pester my mom. “Why do all this? Why show him the world when he’s never going to leave the ghetto?” “Because,” she would say, “even if he never leaves the ghetto, he will know that the ghetto is not the world. If that is all I accomplish, I’ve done enough.”
But the more we went to church and the longer I sat in those pews the more I learned about how Christianity works: If you’re Native American and you pray to the wolves, you’re a savage. If you’re African and you pray to your ancestors, you’re a primitive. But when white people pray to a guy who turns water into wine, well, that’s just common sense.
This quote could be titled 'Christianity, assimilate or else!'
"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)
AgeAdd Age Suitability
green_turtle_2159 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over
SummaryAdd a Summary
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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