Today, LitHub ran a chilling excerpt from Trevor Noah's recently released memoir, Born a Crime (Doubleday Books). Trevor Noah is a South African comedian and host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Born a Crime digs deep into his past; revealing the trials and tribulations of growing up both black and white in apartheid South Africa. Here's a particularly sobering quote:
"I couldn’t walk with my mother, either; a light-skinned child with a black woman would raise too many questions. When I was a newborn, she could wrap me up and take me anywhere, but very quickly that was no longer an option. I was a giant baby, an enormous child. When I was one you’d have thought I was two. When I was two, you’d have thought I was four."
Noah gives a firsthand account of not only what it was like to grow up during South African apartheid, but what it was like to be mixed-race during South African apartheid. In the simplest of terms, it was illegal. It was a literal crime to be mixed, since blacks and whites weren't allowed to have sex. Consequently, Noah spent much of his childhood in hiding. He could rarely acknowledge his Xhosa mother, nor his Swiss father, in public. In order to protect him from the extremely violent and militarized apartheid police, Noah's mother had him live as "Coloured."
Visit Lit Hub to read the rest of this intense excerpt. Also, check out the book. I'm so glad that Trevor Noah has the platform to speak honestly about apartheid. I'm also thrilled that he has the courage to tell his difficult story. he is truly a survivor.