Nonfiction: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

It seems appropriate to highlight Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime during the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to ban laws prohibiting interracial marriage. While that ruling certainly did not completely resolve all our troubles, South Africa wouldn’t even begin to enact their legal resolution to end racial discrimination in relationships until 1991, with the end of apartheid. Thus it is that 33 year old Trevor Noah can tell his story of growing up under the cruel, state-mandated discrimination that truly made his birth, the son of a black mother and white father, illegal. Noah is an able comedian, and there are many parts of this story that will have you laughing out loud. But the painful, piercing evil of segregation that permeates the book is never far from the humor. This too is a work of love, as Noah pays tribute to his incredibly strong and loving mother, whose intentionally strict parenting style was cultivated to ensure he knew he was different, special, and destined for something beyond their small home.