The increasingly relevant reality of being a mixed race person is at the forefront of this book and what stood out for me as a mixed race person myself.
‘It is just honest. It is just an account.’
Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime doesn’t only explore this topic, in all of it’s aspects from social constructs to the important question of racial identification, it gives a first account of what it was like to be born a mixed race person, therefore illegal, in the Apartheid area.
And that is why this book is so important for South Africans to read.
The life of someone who sat on both sides during Apartheid, who as a result of his race sits inbetween and on the outside at the same time is a unique account that doesn’t drone on fact, on involvement or have an element of lecturing. It is just honest. It is just an account. It is what the average South African needs to read to begin to grasp the unique situation and fabric of our nation.
‘..dispersed with rye comedic humour’
This book is both insightful and hits the balance between aggressive and passive. It is involved. Inbetween 18 essays of his life, his experience as a mixed race person, his struggles as the son of strong, independent woman who was domestically abused, who was ultimately shot in the head yet survived, is short perspectives on how the history of South Africa came to affect his world and continues to affect the world of all South Africans, whether we notice it or not.
‘Trevor’s curse of being born on the outside has become a gift..’
From why taxis came to be, to the rut that the average South African faces, to the power of language, Noah blends insight dispersed with rye comedic humour. Trevor’s curse of being born on the outside has become a gift that allows him to understand and empathise with everybody on their level. Something we can all do to learn from.
Leave your idea of yourself and others at the door and read this book.