Tag Archives: comedian

South African Roots and Apartheid’s Influence, with a Sense of Humor

What's Nonfiction?

Book review: Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah

Where most children are proof of their parents’ love, I was the proof of their criminality.

Apartheid is one of those subjects that I know embarrassingly little about beyond the basics. If you’re in the same position, I highly recommend comedian and Daily Show host Trevor Noah’s 2016 memoir, Born a Crime, of his unique experience growing up as mixed-race in apartheid-era South Africa. Noah was born to a South African Xhosa mother and a white Swiss father. His very existence was a serious crime under the laws of apartheid, under which both sexual and romantic relationships between blacks and whites was penalized criminally.

Apartheid was a police state, a system of surveillance and laws designed to keep black people under total control. A full compendium of those laws would run more than three thousand pages and weigh approximately ten pounds…

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