Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Born a crime, by Trevor Noah

Apartheid was still the law of the land in South Africa when television host and comedian, Trevor Noah, was born to his Xhosa mother and white Swiss/German father.  Not only were they not married (nor did they intend to be – his mother simply needed someone to father the child she desperately wanted), but it was literally against the law for a white person to have intercourse with a black person.  The visible proof of that illegality, his existence was a crime.  Technically, under the law, Trevor was “colored,” but fit in nowhere.  Kept inside for much of his early childhood, to avoid detection, he was a solitary child who made his own world.  After apartheid fell, life was different, but, although he now identifies as “black,” he still never felt entirely in one world or the other.  This memoir of his growing up is primarily about his indomitable mother and their close but difficult relationship.  Funny, sad, and alarming in places, it helps explain the unique perspective that has informed his vision.  He’s one of the most perceptive observers of life in the USA.

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