Born a crime – Trevor Noah

The mix of history and humor is what sets this book apart.  Trevor provides the realities of his upbringing in conjunction with the African history of racism and leaves his success as the ultimate example of how ‘parting the races’ is false.

We as Americans know of our racist historical background but our country is only a few hundred years old.  South Africa was centuries ahead of perfecting racism and as a result they succeeded effectively for many years.  Trevor was born and grew up as that separatist past was crumbling.  Blacks, for many centuries, had been classified as second class citizens, been subjected to rule and genocide and had been systemically denied basic rights.  But apartheid crumbled and Nelson Mandela was freed and with his presidential election, elevated Blacks to an equal status.  With discriminatory laws now being changed, there was not only a fight for equal status but a fight within Black tribes of who was to be in charge.

Trevor brilliantly displays the in fighting that took place between the various tribes in Africa and why they still exist.  In addition to the structure of cities, naming of streets, naming of people (he had a friend named Hitler) and how that has led him to be the personality he has become.  His thoughts of why he succeeded are supplied and makes you wonder what is needed to succeed.

Him relationship with his mom was the best.  Ripe with tensions, disagreements, rebellion and tough love, the underlying strength was she loved her son and wanted only the best for him and he respected his mom.

If you’re a fan of Trevor, you’ll definitely not only enjoy this read but it gives you a clearer understanding of who he is.  I always wondered how he so confidently stepped in and not replaced Jon Stewart but made the Daily Show his own.  This book explains how.


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