Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood Born a Crime discussion


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BVW NEHS Born a Crime Discussion

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

First discussion of the year!

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Read the book, post 2pts
Comment on other posts 1pt (can earn up to 3 points)


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

After reading the book, please comment your take on the book. You can also comment on other comments.


message 3: by Calle (new)

Calle I personally thought this book was super enticing! After reading this book, I thought my perception on life changed. Learning how he was able to break barriers and become a non-conformist within his apartheid African culture, he resonates as an inspiration to all individuals. I loved how he was unafraid of trying something new and felt connected to his drive to encourage readers that it is freeing to create your own definition of yourself, without judgement breaking one's courage apart.


message 4: by Asa (new)

Asa M After reading Trevor Noah's autobiography, Born a Crime I felt like his life story can teach us a lot about an understanding of all racial groups and having confidence in yourself and who you are. Noah, the protagonist of the story is half Xhosa and half Sweedish. Growing up with apartheid in South Africa he struggles to fit with any racial group. Noah in his life persisted through racism and poverty. Through the unjust social aspects of Apartheid and abuse that affected both Trevor and his mother, Trevor's story is heartbreaking and told in a way that facts can not describe. His story teaches us all how through adversity we can all triumph and we can develop a voice that we can use to fight the injustice in our world today.


message 5: by Esha (new)

Esha Parikh I think Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is an inspirational story. Trevor Noah has been through so much and has still been able to come out on top. He always views life as a glass half full rather than letting the tough times in his life define him. I found his writing style, overall, hilarious and informative. The way he wrote the paragraphs before each chapter provided helpful information and pointed out things I had never thought of. One of my favorites was when he compared education in Germany to South Africa and the US. Born a Crime is definitely on my top 10 books list and I would highly recommend it to anyone.


message 6: by Esha (new)

Esha Parikh @Asa M I agree that Born a Crime can teach us a lot about racism and how to fight it. Trevor recounts numerous stories where he had faced struggles due to racism. In fact, I think the majority of his childhood was him learning how to live with racism.


message 7: by Esha (new)

Esha Parikh @Calle I completely agree! My perspective on life was changed after reading this book. The amount of experiences Trevor has gone through and the way he has handled them gave me appreciation for the life I have and inspired me to do more.


message 8: by Calle (new)

Calle @Asa M I felt the exact same way about the way he perceived different racial groups! I loved how he was so honest and vulnerable to the audience, which resonated to the extensive level that he has complete confidence in himself.


message 9: by Calle (new)

Calle @Esha Parikh I agree, Trevor Noah's character is such a prominent role for individuals today! I think it is so cool that he has the capability to adapt to adverse situations and always see life on the bright side. This just goes to show how he likes to live life on the edge, without the fear hindering his ability to succeed.


message 10: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Zhu Born A Crime by Trevor Noah was a super interesting book. It provides a new perspective away from the American-centric viewpoint most of us have. In our perception, we tend to think of legal separation based on race as being generations ago, however people as young as Trevor Noah experienced apartheid in other countries. Since he had a Swedish father and a Xhosa mother, his life was full of struggle. However, he ended up finding happiness in the end, which is very inspiring.


message 11: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Zhu Calle wrote: "I personally thought this book was super enticing! After reading this book, I thought my perception on life changed. Learning how he was able to break barriers and become a non-conformist within hi..."
I agree that the story of his life is super inspiring. He went through a lot and the writing could change a lot of how we perceive life and the world.


message 12: by Samanyu (new)

Samanyu Brungi Trevors Noahs autobiography, Born a Crime, is a very motivational story. Trevor Noah did not have a typical childhood like others. He was different from others. Though he was different, it didn't stop him from being where he is now. Born a Crime is filled with emotional, comedic, and inspirational moments throughout the entire book. Trevors mother, Patricia Noah, reminds me how all mothers sacrifice everything for there kids so that they could have a great life. It reminded me for how grateful I am to have the mother that I do. Trevors story teaches everyone that they always have to go over the hill in order to reach their goals. I would recommend this book and I would give it a rating of 9/10.


message 13: by Samanyu (new)

Samanyu Brungi @Esha I like how you stated that Trevor sees a glass half full rather than full. It reminds me that everyone has some bad times in their life, but they should put their head up and look at the good days that await them.


message 14: by Calle (new)

Calle @Samanyu Brungi I thought the exact same thing-I loved how personal his story was and how he was able to inform readers that his identity did not have to define him! I, also, like how you made the reference to the hills because in order for success, determination and perseverance must be reached.


message 15: by Esha (new)

Esha Parikh @Amanda Zhu I agree, Born a Crime was a really interesting book. It takes on a completely different perspective than what the majority of people see from. I also agree how legal segregation seems like something that was a long time ago and it’s crazy how young people have experienced it in different areas of the world.


message 16: by Aishani (new)

Aishani Saxena Born a Crime, an autobiography by renowned comedian, author, and speaker Trevor Noah and the inspirational and powerful memoir recounts his childhood as his nation transitioned from apartheid, a white supremacist system of government based on racial segregation, forced labor, and the disenfranchisement of nonwhites, to a tenuous democracy led by the black majority. With his single mother, Noah suffers a kind of poverty by design: the apartheid laws are designed to ensure that nonwhites remain too poor and resourceless to fight the government. But the end of apartheid does not end this poverty or inequality; rather, it leaves lasting wounds, especially in the native African communities that remain stuck in a world circumscribed by violence, poverty, and suspicion.


message 17: by Aishani (new)

Aishani Saxena @Samanyu Brungi I agree with you about his personality and individualism defining his story and the book really well, and in addition, I liked how underlined some of the references he made to the hills as well as others.

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message 18: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany @Aishani I think you make a great summarization of the novel. I agree that it’s important to note that the ending of the apartheid doesn’t mean that the suffering of nonwhites also ended. Because of the impacts the apartheid had on native Africans, it was hard for them to get back up on their feet and prosper when they were still fighting the lasting bias against their culture.


message 19: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Zhu @Aishani I agree that the message is very powerful. His story of living in apartheid and going through many intense struggles and parts of life was very deep. Moving throughout different places and comparing them provided many insights into interesting perspectives.


message 20: by McKenna (last edited Nov 07, 2019 11:00AM) (new)

McKenna Bizal After reading Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, I feel that I have a whole new perspective on how the system of apartheid affected the social and familial values in South Africa. I personally enjoyed how the novel was written through a series of some light-hearted, and serious anecdotes, that showed the struggles Noah faced growing up. I think the contrast of stories showed some normal teenage struggles that the audience could sympathize with, and some issues that were unique to his situation. However, his perspective on life, despite the hardships him and his family dealt with, are what made the novel so enjoyable to me. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, as it is enlightening, and tells a true story of perseverance in the most unique and heartwarming way.


message 21: by McKenna (new)

McKenna Bizal @Esha I agree with you, and I also enjoyed his writing style. I think the perspective he had is what made the book so interesting, and gave it the positive spin. I also think the paragraphs before each chapter were useful background for the next chapter, and you could tell there was a change in the tone.


message 22: by McKenna (new)

McKenna Bizal @Samanyu I like how you drew from a personal experience, and I think that it gives a different perspective on the book as well. I agree with you that his childhood vastly differed from ours, but it did not affect his personality, but instead made him more resilient and positive!


message 23: by McKenna (new)

McKenna Bizal @Asa I really like the way you described the struggles felt by Noah and his family, and how that shaped his family, and I totally agree. I also agree that despite the way he was treated, he did gain strength from the situations, and the way the story was told gave the audience another perspective on the exigence.


message 24: by Kaden (new)

Kaden Trevor Noah's memoir, Born a Crime, is a genuine testament to the phrase that anything is possible. Literally born a crime, Trevor faces the harsh and unforgiving side of society simply because he was different. While reading Noah's memoir, I noticed how his descriptive writing style pulled me into numerous events like when he was isolated from others and bullied. Being able to connect myself, I figured other readers could easily relate with Trevor too which is why this book is important. In terms of the overall message, I believe that Trevor wanted others to know that there is a place for everyone in society, everyone has a home. However, there is a key ingredient needed for achieving this which Trevor would call a strong dedication. A dedication to bettering yourself no matter the circumstances and one void of excuses.


message 25: by Kaden (new)

Kaden @McKenna I found it interesting that after reading the book, you developed a new perspective on how the system of apartheid affects people. As someone who has never and will never experience the struggles faced with apartheid, I won't ever know how it felt which is why books like Noah's are so important, they only happen to specific people. Books like these can help us empathize with those of go through the hard times and guide them in the right direction.


message 26: by Kaden (new)

Kaden @Samanyu I agree with your statement that Trevor's mother played a significant role in his success. Without his mother, I don't know how far Trevor would have gotten. I feel like the sacrifices his mother made gave him the opportunity to be a man and because of this Trevor might feel like his mother is the hero of his story.


message 27: by Kaden (new)

Kaden @Esha I think it is important that you noted how the author's writing style dictated your perception of the book. For example, as you noted his writing style was hilarious this could mean that he will find hope later on. Meanwhile, if his style was a more depressing one, you may think he will never find happiness.


message 28: by Asa (new)

Asa M @McKenna I agree with what you have said, while this a memoir full of prejudice and resilience Noah tells it in a way for us and even himself to find humor and laughter in the toughest of times in his life. I agree about how it relates to the present day because to this day and age in even Overland Park there are still acts of racial violence and statistics show higher incarceration rates of African-American males than any other racial group. Noah's story demonstrates and can teach us Resilience and Personal Growth because of that I would also recommend this memoir to everyone.


message 29: by Asa (new)

Asa M @Samanyu Brungi the majority of us live in Overland Park and from reading this we can see the large differences of how Noah grew up versus the way the majority of us grow up. Regardless, we always face challenges in our lives and I felt like the point you brought up about Patricia Noah is a great one because throughout the memoir she helps Trevor out with his struggles and it develops a large and present theme of love and how we all need love and personal growth within our own lives. If I had to rate Born A Crime I would also rate it a 9/10.


message 30: by Manit (new)

Manit Aggarwal @Samanyu Brungi

I really like how you implemented and introduced ideas about how his mother influenced his future. Without the prevalent efforts from her, Trevor would never have accomplished his goals. The idea that mothers give their children everything is not an exaggeration, they are constantly sacrificing for the betterment of their children’s future.


message 31: by Brett (new)

Brett Balquist Trevor Noah's book "Born A Crime" shows us that we have to be thankful for what he has. Like others have stated he is literally born a crime. For me personally, I cannot imagine what it would be like to not even suppose to exist, which I take for granted every day. This book offers us the ability to reflect on our own lives and see how easy we have it off. It teaches us to count our blessings and be curious as we do not know everyone's full story. The author's comedic background allows him to break tension using antecedent that helps tell the story. Despite his hard upbringing he has an optimistic point of view and cherishes his positive memories. This was a touching memoir on the human spirit and the ability to make do with what you were given.


message 32: by Brett (new)

Brett Balquist @Kaden I touched on some of the similar points that you did and I think it is very important that the message of succeeding in face of adversity is very strong within the novel. He doesn't look upon his past as a burden he sees it as part of himself and who he is. So being able to do that ourselves it is almost unthinkable what we can achieve, thanks for your input!


message 33: by Brett (new)

Brett Balquist @Samanyu I would agree with you on the point that mothers will do anything for their children. Within the novel despite her circumstances, she tries to do what is best for her child. I know that from experience mother always wants what is best for their child and the author shows how that bond with his mother was no different. Thanks for sharing!


message 34: by Brett (new)

Brett Balquist @Asa You touched on the same point that both Kaden and I touched on which was one of triumph despite adversity. I think that it is so important that this message is shared and this novel does it perfectly. So many people are afraid of what the future holds for them, yet Trevor Noah is a testament that you can succeed no matter what. I like your points!


message 35: by Julia (new)

Julia Misemer I think born a crime by Trevor Noah is a very important book for people to read because of the many important themes. It shows people to treat all people of all races equally and the effects of what happens when we don’t. It also shows us to be grateful for what we have because not everyone is this lucky and some people are segregated and mistreated over things that they are unable to change, like their race. Overall I would recommend this book for everyone to read because it teaches so many important lessons.


message 36: by Julia (new)

Julia Misemer @amanda I agree with what you’re saying and I also really liked how you pointed out that this was racism occurring not too long ago and that racism still occurs all over the world.


message 37: by Julia (new)

Julia Misemer @brettb I agree, I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to literally be born a crime and to have your existence be against the law. I also take the things i have for granted everyday. This book is super good for changing our current perspective on life.


message 38: by Julia (new)

Julia Misemer @kaden I really like how you made personal connections to the book. I can also make personal connections to this book like the connection of feeling left out and it also makes us understand that our issues like this are just minor compared to some other people.


message 39: by Grace (last edited Nov 22, 2019 04:42PM) (new)

Grace Pfanstiel Trevor Noah's memoir "Born a Crime" discusses the extent in which resilience in times of struggle will prevail victorious in the end. After reading his book, I've come to understand the importance of resilience thorough struggle, seen in how Trevor and his mother made it through obstacles, such as violence, poverty, and uncertainty by their pure strength and promise to never give up. The most inspiring example that stuck out to me was how Trevor's mother took her family to three churches each Sunday, all pertaining to different cultures and takes on Christianity. This gesture touched on the theme that Trevor's mother did not want her son to only belong to one group of people, but instead explore until he knew he belonged to the group that made him the happiest. Religion also become a strong theme throughout this book, seen in this example of multiple churches. Religion become an essential strength for Trevor's family, prevalent at the end of his memoir in which he details how (not trying to spoil anything) Trevor's mother survived a serious injury, claiming she was saved by God. This details how everyone in Trevor's family stayed optimistic about their futures even when faced with difficult obstacles. The resilience to continue through struggles was a bold theme in this memoir, and I think it can teach us all that resilience through uncertainty will lead us to greater things in the future. I recommend this book to everyone! It was very eye opening to a variety of issues that everyone should understand.


message 40: by Grace (new)

Grace Pfanstiel @Mckenna, I really enjoy and agree with your review. I think one of the most enticing aspects of Trevor uses anecdotes and sometimes comedic language to illustrate serious issues allows his memoir more fascinating and easier to read.


message 41: by Grace (new)

Grace Pfanstiel @Brett, I agree with your review in how Trevor's story teaches to never take advantage of our privileges and to appreciate everything we have. I believe that because Trevor was "born a crime" he indeed has a different take on many issues we have. I found his memoir, as you did, fascinating due to his comedic background and ability to diffuse serious situations with certain strategies that made them easier to digest.


message 42: by Grace (new)

Grace Pfanstiel @Kaden, I, too, can relate to Trevor's situations of feeling like I cannot belong. One of the qualities that young people can relate to Trevor's memoir is because of his ability to write and appeal to his reader's emotions.


message 43: by Pranav (new)

Pranav Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is a story of hope, triumph, and perseverance. This book showed the life of Trevor and his mom and the struggles they went through to succeed. It is also a story about the history of South Africa. Trevor writes the book really well and inspires people with his story. It is a great memoir to his mother. Trevor’s humor is in display in this book as well. I definitely recommend this book to others because it shows the struggles and hardships of people and it helps us understand the issues that people are facing.


message 44: by Pranav (new)

Pranav @Grace Pfanstiel, I agree with your view especially on how religion played a key role in Trevor’s life and in the book. It is definitely an inspiring story that represents never resiliency.


message 45: by Pranav (new)

Pranav *never giving up and resiliency.


message 46: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie Born a Crime by Trevor Noah really helped me to understand the impact the system of apartheid had on society in South Africa, something I previously knew little about. His story is uplifting, as well as full of wisdom and history. Being literally born a crime, Noah uses many of his light hearted and very serious stories to tell the reader about growing up as an outsider, and the struggles he faced, alongside his mother. I believe this is a great book that every teenager should read, especially those who do not always feel like they fit in. Noah truly proves how well spoken, and insightful he is.


message 47: by Nicole (new)

Nicole I really liked this book! Noah is very personable, and that definitely comes across in his book. His stories are very engaging, and they offer great insight into what his life was like growing up under apartheid, and how the aftermath of it continued to impact the people of South Africa. I had learned about it before, but it’s definitely striking to hear someone’s personal stories from that time. Noah also did a great job of characterizing the people he mentioned, like the obvious love and respect he had for his mom. I thought this book was funny as well; I definitely laughed at a couple of points. Overall, this was a great book, and I’m genuinely happy I read it.


message 48: by Maqdas (new)

Maqdas Bhatti Born a Crime by Trevor Noah helps bring to light an idea to Americans that is sort of complicated for many to understand. When we think of people being born illegal in this context, we often forget that this was true in America once. Although it wasn’t quite the same in America, I think the general idea remains constant in both situations. I also admire how Noah was able to show his character through the stories. For example, he used humor throughout the book, but still kept a serious tone when referencing his main theme. I also appreciate how his stories help anyone develop a perspective outside of their own. Throughout the book, I was able to realize that I have so much I take for granted, most prominently the validation of my life. Overall, I think the book did really well at getting may themes across without using too much of a flat, serious tone.


message 49: by Saif (new)

Saif Shaffie Trevor Noah Born a Crime offers an insight into a period in history it's target audience will most likely not have a good understanding of. It takes the reader through the mind of a man whose been through lots of civil unrest and how he managed to overcome it and become a comedic icon in our time today. I loved how the book is written in a style similar to Trevor, in the since that, you can feel like you can hear him in your head while your reading the book and also laugh along as well. I also love the emotions you can get while reading, from being a determined reader to laughing about it to feeling sad, Trevor's Noahs Born a Crime offers a readers view into a world of discrimination, adaptation, and overcoming.


message 50: by Pranav (new)

Pranav Born a Crime by Trevor Noah was an amazing novel to read. One thing that stood out to me in this book was the concept of humor and the fact that it was able to be incorporated into Trevor's life. He talks about his life and the forms of discrimination he encountered throughout the course of his life in a humourous manner. It's almost as if he was masking his sad and dark past with comedy which as a result made the novel 100 times entertaining. This book made me realize to make the most out of life, even if it gets difficult sometimes. I am so glad I read this novel and I 100% recommend it to everyone!


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