We had a slightly smaller turnout for this month’s book club! Fortunately, whether present or not, we had a lot of positive chatter in our GroupMe about Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime! We had to listen to a few excerpts of the audio book as Trevor Noah is the narrator. It makes the memoir that much more relate-able and personable, although we listened to some of the more comic sections like when he shit on the floor on newspaper because he didn’t want to go out in the rain to the outhouse. Classic.
I’m not one who favors comedies, however, I feel Noah integrates comedy and life seamlessly and authentically. The mini stories as chapters works well but seemed unresolved when it came to his friends growing up. His story is indeed incredible as also was his mother’s since it is just as much about her as it is Trevor. Although I grew up on the east coast of the U.S., being biracial, I understood aspects of his upbringing, especially when it came to skin color and having to choose in a way. The title says it all in which his mother took risks and was independent until it came to marrying the man who ended up putting her in the hospital after shooting her. Trevor grew up with strong women in his life but also sought to outwit them, as most of his antics allude to! Elements of apartheid were sewn throughout the memoir but I appreciated the focus on the human aspect, more importantly, the strength of family and relationships.
Memorable quotes that I hope sink in:
“But in my head white and black and brown were like types of chocolate…but we were all just chocolate” (Noah 54)
“Before…I’d never have to choose, but when I was forced to choose, I chose black. I saw myself as the people around me” (Noah 59)
“I was wanted. Being chosen is the greatest gift you can give another human being” (Noah 110)
“They’re trying to discipline you before the system. ‘I need to do this to you before the police do it to you.’ Because that’s all black parents are thinking from the day you’re old enough to walk into the street, where the law is waiting” (Noah 227)
Here’s to our next book club selection, The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson! Stay warm out there 🙂