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Now reading: "Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood" by Trevor Noah.

"The triumph of democracy over apartheid is sometimes called the Bloodless Revolution. It is called that because very little white blood was spilled. Black blood ran in the streets."

On black townships in Johannesburg: "Soweto was designed to be bombed - that's how forward-thinking the architects of apartheid were. The township was a city unto itself, with a population of nearly one million. There were only two roads in and out. That was so the military could lock us in, quell any rebellion."

"My grandmother always told me that she loved my prayers. She believed my prayers were more powerful, because I prayed in English. Everyone knows that Jesus, who's white, speaks English. The bible is in English. Yes, the Bible was not *written* in English, but the Bible came to South Africa in English so to us it's in English."

On building a house (= upgrading a shanty):

"Over time, you'd save up money and build a brick wall. One wall. Then you'd save up and build another wall."

On being poor: "As modestly as we lived at home, I never felt poor because our lives were so rich with experience. We were always out doing something, going somewhere."

On pets: "A dog is a great
thing for a kid to have. It’s like a bicycle but with emotions."

About getting to know his (largely absent) father:

'“So,” he said, “in the time we’ve spent together, what would you say you’ve learned about your dad?”
“Nothing. All I know is that you’re extremely secretive.”
“You see? You’re getting to know me already.”'

On the ridicule of institutionalized race:

"Which seems ridiculous, but it would happen. Every year under apartheid, some colored people would get promoted to white. It wasn’t a myth; it was real. People could submit applications to the government. Your hair might become straight enough, your skin might become light enough, your accent might become polished enough—and you’d be reclassified as white."

On having money: "The first thing I learned about having money was that it gives you choices. People don’t want to be rich. They want to be able to choose. The richer you are, the more choices you have. That is the freedom of money."

"With Mandela came freedom - and with freedom came McDonald's."

On hustling: "When Bongani first said to me, “Let’s go to the hood,” I thought we were going to sell CDs and DJ parties in the hood. It turned out that we were selling CDs and DJing parties in
order to capitalize a payday-lending and pawnshop operation in the hood. Very quickly that became our core business."

On South American police: "What Americans call SWAT is just our regular police."

On crime: "The hood made me realize that crime succeeds because crime does the one thing the government doesn’t do: crime cares. Crime is grassroots. Crime looks for the young kids who need support and a lifting hand. Crime offers internship programs and summer jobs and opportunities for advancement."

Ok, the last chapter "My mother's life" is tough. It deals with domestical abuse, and ends with his mother shot in the head by her husband, surviving by miracle.

After having read "Born a Crime" by , I can highly recommend it. 👍

It's funny, personal, and educational. The subtitle "Stories from a South African Childhood" couldn't be more true. At it's core, it's about the state of South Africa, Apartheid, Race, Religion. It showed me a world that I did not know before. Time well spent.

(on a side note, the book doesn't cover his public career at all)

@feld Yep. I made a whole thread with quotes, just finished the book. It was good!

@hinterwaeldler I've got a copy coming, glad to hear it was well received.

@hinterwaeldler how do you find it? Am a big fan of Noah but have not yet gone to the bookstore..
Maybe makes more sense to read it to South Africans in comparison to Europeans.

@markusviktorius It was fantastic! See the original mastodon thread, I've posted a few quotes and thoughts.

The book clearly has an "American" perspective, meaning that it's not written for South Africans. ;-)

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