Born a Crime Book Summary By Trevor Noah

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Born a Crime

Book Name: Born a Crime (Stories from a South African Childhood)

Author(s): Trevor Noah

Rating: 4.4/5

Reading Time: 42 Minutes

Categories: Book Summaries

Author Bio

Trevor Noah is an internationally renowned comedian and host of the award-winning Daily Show.

A South African native, he has been nominated for various awards including winning the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards for Best Host.

Apart from hosting, his big break came in 2016 when he released his New York Times Bestseller "Born a Crime," which details his upbringing as mixed-race child during apartheid in South Africa.

The book was also adapted into a film starring Lupita Nyong'o as Trevor's mother and recently became available on Netflix.

In the book, Trevor discusses racism, poverty and other social issues in South Africa through his experience growing up within these turbulent times.

Through this story and perspective, readers are able to gain a better understanding of how people were affected by these difficult laws that forced those of different ethnicities to endure unthinkable suffering.

Listen To The Biography Of Trevor Noah To Learn His Inspiring Story Of Overcoming Great Odds With The Love And Strength Of His Mother

Trevor Noah

If you’re looking to learn more about Trevor Noah, then look no further than his book, Born a Crime.

This memoir gives readers an inside look at Noah’s incredible upbringing in South Africa and the remarkable impact his mother had on his life.

Aside from watching Noah on The Daily Show or checking out some of his stand-up comedy performances, Born a Crime is the perfect way to get to know him and understand how he overcame the odds while growing up in South Africa.

It’s an inspiring story that’ll make you laugh, cry and maybe even learn something new along the way.

For maximum enjoyment, we highly recommend the audio version!

The Struggle And Triumph Of Love Under Apartheid: The Story Of Patricia And Trevor Noah’S Off-Limits Interracial Relationship

Chapter 1 of Trevor Noah’s book “Born a Crime” begins with an introduction to the world of apartheid South Africa and its laws.

At the time, interracial affairs were illegal, and so any child born from a coupling between a white father and black mother was considered to be breaking the law.

In this case, Trevor would be that baby.

This backdrop sets up the fundamental conflict in the story – one between an ambitious young woman seeking freedom and opportunity and a draconian system designed to punishment her for having it.

Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah was only 24 when she met Robert, 46 years old and white, at an apartment complex in Johannesburg.

But this wasn’t just any meeting; they were both partaking in Johannesburg’s underground nightlife – which was itself a subversive act under apartheid (intermingling with someone of another race could be jailed).

Despite these obstacles, Patricia moved back to Soweto where she earned enough money to move into Johannesburg again – this time as part of her new job as a corporate secretary.

It was through sheer ambition that she made it out of poverty – all while unknowingly creating something more powerful: Trevor himself, born illegally but soon discovered to have power through his unique voice.

The Perils And Challenges Of Loving Across Racial Lines In Apartheid South Africa

South Africa

In Chapter 2 of Born a Crime, we explore the risks Patricia took by having an interracial affair with a white man during apartheid in South Africa.

Even though it was dangerous to have an interracial relationship in this time and place, she chose to have a toddler son with her partner, Robert.

Even after apartheid ended a few years later, there was still significant stigma against those who were of mixed race – leading Patricia and Robert to be incredibly sly and secretive whenever they left the house.

When walking down the street in Johannesburg, Patricia would enlist the help of some of her neighbors so that Trevor wouldn’t raise any red flags.

They would pretend that the lighter-skinned neighbor was Trevor’s mother, which allowed them to slip by without being suspected or questioned by anyone nearby.

Trevor felt out of place even when living in Soweto – which had an almost exclusively Black population – due to his lighter skin color.

Hiding from the world had consequences for Robert’s relationship with Trevor when he got older; at one point, their contact cut off for 11 long years until young Trevor was finding success as a comedian in his mid-twenties.

At that point, they reconnected as if no time had passed at all – but getting close to his father wasn’t easy for Trevor; often times he felt like he was getting glimpses into dirtect life here and there through increments instead of one major reveal.

Regardless, Robert showed his love and support through saving newspaper clippings about Trevor’s career progressions and preparing meals that reminded him of happier times growing up together.

How Trevor The Terror Got His Name: The Mischievous Adventure Of A Boy Living In Poverty

The third chapter of Born a Crime covers one of Trevor Noah’s more mischievous childhood escapades.

On one occasion, Trevor and a neighborhood friend were playing in the wooden shed behind Abel’s garage apartment when they got hungry and went for a snack.

When the two boys returned, the shed door had locked from inside and soon smoke was seen coming from cracks in its window frame.

They ran to get help, but by the time the fire brigade arrived, it was too late and everything had already been burned down to ashes – except for Abel’s garage apartment that remained unscathed!

Abel was furious at Trevor who soon became known as “Trevor The Terror” around the neighborhood.

To make matters even worse, with his home gone, Abel was now homeless.

This caused an argument between him and Patricia which solidified Abel living with them until further notice.

Even though Patricia couldn’t punish him due to his young age, there was no denying that Trevor’s mischief-making skills had landed him in some sticky situations!

The Bloodless Revolution Of South Africa Was No Doubt Triumphant, But Came With Unforeseen Challenges And Endured Pain

Revolution Of South Africa

In Chapter 4 of Born a Crime, Trevor recounts the tumultuous post-apartheid period in South Africa, where many tensions and problems arose due to the change in power.

During this period it was dangerous to take public transportation so Patricia had to take her car with her and Trevor, but it wouldn’t start.

This meant that the two would have to take the bus.

The ride took an unexpected turn when their driver began lecturing Patricia for travelling with a man who wasn’t her husband.

In response, Patricia yelled back and called him names while also speaking Xhosa to Trevor, which caused even more anger from the Zulu driver.

The situation became more dangerous as they continued driving, so Patricia had no other choice but to put herself and Trevor in danger once again by leaping out of the bus with Andrew in her arms while it was still in motion so that they could escape home safely.

This scene shows how resilient Patricia is – without panicking she was able to make quick decisions that saved them from harm – proving yet again why she is such a strong influence on her son’s life.

How Trevor Used His Language Skills, Business Savvy And Sense Of Humor To Navigate Post-Apartheid South Africa

In Chapter 5 of Born a Crime, Trevor’s business savvy comes to the forefront.

At sixteen years old, Trevor starts selling illegal bootleg CDs containing downloaded music from the internet – his first foray into true financial independence.

But this isn’t the only hustle he has going for him.

Trevor’s linguistic skills also come in handy during his budding entrepreneurial journey.

With eleven official languages spoken in post-apartheid South Africa, Trevor began learning several – a skill that saved him on more than one occasion when being snuck up on by gang members who wanted to mug him.

His polyglot advantages didn’t stop there; they helped make puberty easier since he was able to ‘float between’ all types of social groups and make friends no matter their backgrounds with his ability to crack jokes.

It wasn’t long before Trevor moved on from just saleing CDs to deejaying at parties too.

With an enormous library of downloads, he earned popularity as a DJ who could play for much longer than those using vinyl, and soon enough was getting bookings from all around town even having his own dance crew that performed while he manned the turntables.

Trevor Noah’S Near-Death Consequence Of Domestic Violence Inspires Dedication And Gratitude

Trevor Noah'S

Chapter 6 of Trevor Noah’s “Born a Crime” takes us to a heartbreaking moment in his family’s story.

Abel, Trevor’s father, was an alcoholic who often became uncontrollably violent when drinking.

He and Patricia, Trevor’s mother and his step-father, were constantly in debt no matter how hard they both worked – Abel as a brilliant mechanic and Patricia running the business side of the shop.

One night, Abel got drunk and beat up Patricia.

She went straight to the police but they refused to help her due to lack of evidence or witnesses.

Despite going through tremendous amount of emotional pain, Patricia was trapped in this abusive situation for fear that Abel might kill her and her children if she tried to escape.

Desperate for some freedom, Patricia quit her corporate job to take over the business end at Abel’s shop making it run notably well with increased comments on their success.

This however caused even more resentment from Abel against both his wife and his own failure in being able to keep the business running himself resulting him lashing out yet again at Patricia which drove Trevor away not wanting endure any more pain or violence around him.

Eventually though Patricia was able to break free getting remarried which just furthered Abel’s rage towards her causing him one Sunday after church to confront them with his gun shooting her twice before fleeing which luckily enough led her through doctors unlike committed despite no health insurance eventually surviving it all showing how courageous a mother she is going down fighting for what she felt was right all along proving that there is much still needs achieving for equality in South Africa today leading Trevor living thankfully glad about wherever he does now living up to this example ever since as New York City resident dedicated book wherein wrote: “Thank you for making me into a man.

Take A Moment To Relax And Reflect Before You Head To Bed: A Message From Your Biography Narrator

This Biography has come to an end, but it was certainly memorable throughout.

I’m sure you will take away important lessons and key insights from the amazing autobiography which has been recounted in this book.

I urge you pause your listening here, so that whatever positive vibes and relaxation you got out of this wonderful story stay with you forever.

If you’re heading off to bed, I wish for your restful sleep and sweet dreams!

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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