What does Noah Born a Crime piece teach us about racism?
Noah Trevor’s essay, “Born a Crime” has a surprise ending. What does Noah’s piece teach us about racism? How might it inform us today amidst current protests/discussions of racial injustice in America? What are important takeaways and how do you see an application of this teaching to the way we need to rethink how we treat each other?
Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.
Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.
The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • More than one million copies sold! A “brilliant” (Lupita Nyong’o, Time), “poignant” (Entertainment Weekly), “soul-nourishing” (USA Today) memoir about coming of age during the twilight of apartheid
“Noah’s childhood stories are told with all the hilarity and intellect that characterizes his comedy, while illuminating a dark and brutal period in South Africa’s history that must never be forgotten.”—Esquire
Winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor and an NAACP Image Award • Named one of the best books of the year by The New York Time, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Esquire, Newsday, and Booklist
“A soul-nourishing pleasure . . . an enormous gift.”—USA Today
“By turns alarming, sad and funny . . . not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author’s remarkable mother.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“You’d be hard-pressed to find a comic’s origin story better than the one Trevor Noah serves up in Born a Crime. . . . Witty truth-telling . . . brilliant comedy.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Remarkable . . . smart . . . extraordinary . . . essential reading on every level.”—The Seattle Times
“[Noah] thrives with the help of his astonishingly fearless mother. . . . Their fierce bond makes this story soar.”—People
“When I think of Trevor Noah, the first image I see is from his brilliant memoir, Born a Crime, of Trevor’s mother throwing him out of a moving vehicle while he’s asleep in order to save his life. Through other eyes this could be remembered as traumatic and harrowing. Through Trevor’s it is bonding and hilarious, a testament to the love of someone who truly had to think on their feet. That is how Trevor sees the world. A fantastic storyteller, he has always been a defier of rules, which he broke simply by being born in his native country.”—Lupita Nyong’o, Time