"Born a Crime" is an autobiographical memoir written by comedian and Daily Show host, Trevor Noah. He recounts his early life and experiences while growing up as a mixed-race child during apartheid in South Africa.
Though it focuses primarily on Noah’s life and experiences, the book also deals with a number of very important social issues such as race, class, and evaluating differences between people both historically and presently.
The title of this book is a reference to a time in South Africa when interracial relationships and having mixed raced children were illegal.
Trevor Noah grew up during this time period and reflects on his personal experiences. He felt he was forced to live much of his early life in hiding, due to the fact that he has a black South African mother and a Swiss-German father.
This was a collection of essays from his life. He discusses spending summers with his grandmother and his extended family in a black South African neighborhood, to his experiences in school, to his experiences as a DJ as a young adult, to time spent with his father.
Due to his situation, Noah learned to be super critical of race and how something so insignificant to the person can control and dictate entire lives.
Something that I found really interesting about this book was that it not only told the story of Trevor Noah but also told the story of South Africa. Going into this book, I did not know very much about the history of Apartheid, even though it was a significant part of South Africa's history.
This book is absolutely hilarious at times but absolutely heartbreaking at others. There were times where I absolutely burst out into laughter.
Trevor Noah makes it very clear that though it is a serious story, it is not a sad story. It is just his story. All of his essays come together beautifully in a way that is simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking.
I do feel that this is a very important book and I do recommend it to everyone.