#BornACrime is such a touching, transparent, and thoughtful book. Full disclosure: I don’t watch the Daily Show (don’t judge me ♀️), so I wasn’t too familiar with Noah beyond a few clips I’d seen in passing. However, this book makes me want to go back and watch everything he’s ever done because for him to make it all the way to the freaking Daily Show from the slums of South Africa is beyond the American dream: it’s our ancestors wildest dreams.
Although this is a lighter read with funny family anecdotes and comical coming of age stories, it is also very much an insight into the horrors of apartheid (and its aftermath) and the struggles of Black South Africans (and many comparisons to the plight of Black Americans). Cultural identity is a big part of the book: Noah’s father is white and his mother is Black, but he grew up exclusively with his mother’s side of the family, and due to apartheid his birth was literally illegal. Further, with the numerous (and often times arbitrary) categories of race, the various tribes, and the multitude of languages spoken in South Africa, issues of cultural identity stretch far beyond just Noah and are engrained into the fabric of the country. .
Overall, the hilarious and heartwarming relationship with his mother, the painful portrait of poverty, and the glimpse into Noah’s genius makes this a dope ass story that should appeal to everyone. If you need any additional incentives to read this book, it’s being made into a movie, and his mother will be played by @lupitanyongo 🤩
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