Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood Summary

Trevor Noah
- 2016
This book is good to read when you feel happy, bored.

Key Takeaways

  1. Identity and race play significant roles in shaping one's life experiences and opportunities.
  2. Humor can be a powerful tool for dealing with discrimination and adversity.
  3. Personal history is intertwined with cultural and political history, influencing individual growth and perspectives.
  4. Resilience is key in overcoming personal and societal challenges.
  5. Understanding and embracing one's background is crucial for personal development and success.


Noah recounts his experiences growing up in a racially divided South Africa, providing a unique perspective on the challenges faced by mixed-race individuals during apartheid.

He shares humorous and poignant anecdotes that illustrate how his mother’s teachings helped him navigate a world that considered his very existence a crime.

The book explores the impact of apartheid on personal and community life, highlighting Noah's journey from a tumultuous upbringing to becoming a successful comedian.

'Born a Crime' offers a blend of humor and serious reflection, making it a profound narrative on survival, identity, and change.

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