Saturday, October 13, 2018

Project October: Day Thirteen: Born a Crime


While we were in San Francisco last month, I finally read Born a Crime by Trevor Noah after hearing so many good things about it.  It seemed like every time I turned around, good reviews were popping up.  I'm so glad I finally read it, because I give it an easy 5 stars.

Why did I like this book and feel I can recommend it?

Microcosm of the Civil Rights Movement

Know thyself is an important proverb, but self-awareness is the hardest lesson to come by.  Looking at the apartheid in South Africa is like looking at a subset of American racism.  To every instance, I could compare the changing of the laws and the mishaps and adventures as applied to a collective African American existence.  However, you can see it with the clarity of an objective situation.

Real stories from a real life

Trevor Noah is honest and never shies away from the truth, even if it makes him vulnerable, salty, or just very, very human.  I loved the tone of this book, which I think is so hard to come by from books coming out right now that have a bit of spice.  He is able to stay grounded with a grown-up perspective throughout his misadventures, and it is certainly springing from an awesome personality and a wonderful childhood with a wonderful mother.

South African American Perspective

Spoiler alert *but not really* Trevor Noah ended up in the U.S. and works as a comedian on Comedy Central late night TV.  I appreciate the overall perspective because it isn't tied down to South Africa.  Coming to the U.S. really rounded out his viewpoint and I enjoyed seeing where his wisdom landed at the time of writing this book.

Humorous Political Commentary

Trevor Noah didn't just study the politics of racism, rather, he lived it.  His daily life as a child (and as he grew up with stories of adolescence and young adulthood) was written inside the bonds of apartheid and a deeply divided country.  Because this situation is so much more recent than the end of slavery in the U.S., it is still and fresh and moving topic to learn about.

Great Storyline

Amidst the drama of family life, I wasn't sure Noah would pull off a satisfying, deeply wrought plotline, but OH BOY HE DID.  I told Stephen Iwasn't sure what to expect from this book, but as I finished it I was like, HOLY SHIT this did not disappoint. In the least.  He has seen some bullcrap and it makes the book shine fantastically.

The next time you are in a bookstore (I love to visit local bookstores whenever I travel- pure bliss) you may want to pick this one up.


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