I was so excited to find this on the shelf at Savers a few days ago — and I finished it in about a day! I LOVE The Daily Show and I think Trevor Noah puts a great spin on politics. However, I’ll admit that I don’t know much about South Africa or apartheid. Noah did an amazing job of providing context prior to each chapter of the laws, social norms, and what life was like in South Africa.
Trevor’s mom is arguably the most important character in the book — she was strong, resilient, rebellious, and in the purest form, wanted nothing but for her son to have a better life than she had growing up. Trevor was born while apartheid was still in place, a time where a white man & a black woman having a child together was literally illegal — hence Trevor being ‘born a crime.’ His mother worked so hard for Trevor, and to “feed your body, feed your spirit, and feed your mind.” (pg 71)
Trevor was constantly straddling races while growing up, and learned that language was a way to code-switch between the different ethnic groups which he belonged in. He credits this ability as a tool that helped him survive his life in South Africa. If you could speak the language, you could find common ground.
Trevor is only a few years older than I am but I found this memoir of his life in South Africa made me feel like my life experiences are completely inadequate! I guess that’s one of the reasons I love reading so much — I get to learn about other experiences in beautiful and thought-provoking ways.
If you haven’t read Born A Crime yet, I highly suggest you do! 5 star read for me, absolutely. I also know that he reads the audiobook, so if you’re someone interested in audiobooks, it’s been recommended to me in that medium as well.
Finally, I loved this clip of Trevor Noah traveling with his Daily Show crew to visit his grandmother in Soweto — enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s5iz6ml-qA