Born a Crime by Trevor Noah documents the author’s childhood that began in South Africa under a government that should have prevented his very existence. He begins his story early in his life to portray how he was truly “born a crime” as a mixed-race baby during a time when sexual relations between people of different races were outlawed. He goes on to explain the resulting shame and injustice he faced throughout his childhood. Noah accounts stories from when he was young and felt too white for his black friends and family but too dark for his white friends and family. Later in the book, he becomes a victim of racial profiling when he is falsely arrested. Noah also includes stories about how religion and his relationship with his mother played important roles in his life.
Alongside all of the personal stories, Noah develops important ideas on the history and reality of being black. He reveals the hardships of a mixed-race individual while illustrating the truth about racism, systemic oppression, and the importance of family connection. He accomplishes all of this through the serious yet humorous and relatable story about his journey in life. He makes readers feel as if they were listening to a friend recount childhood stories. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a story that will make them feel safe and heard while also becoming more informed about the serious aspects of life. To anyone who reads this book, it is truly a memorable experience. (4.5/5)