Best 23 Born A Crime Racism Quotes

Title: Best 23 “Born A Crime” Racism Quotes: Shedding Light on the Harsh Realities of Apartheid


“Born A Crime” is a poignant memoir written by Trevor Noah, the renowned South African comedian and host of “The Daily Show.” In this book, Noah provides a personal account of his experiences growing up as a mixed-race child during the apartheid era in South Africa. Through his captivating storytelling, Noah sheds light on the deep-rooted racism and discrimination prevalent during that time. This article aims to highlight the best 23 quotes from “Born A Crime” that emphasize the impact of racism and its enduring consequences on individuals and society as a whole.


1. “The genius of apartheid was convincing people who were the overwhelming majority to turn on each other.”

This quote encapsulates the divisive nature of apartheid, where the system cunningly manipulated different racial groups against one another, thus perpetuating its oppressive control.

2. “Language, even more than color, defines who you are to people.”

Noah emphasizes the power of language as a tool for both oppression and unity, highlighting the lasting impact it has on individual identities.

3. “I wasn’t exactly white. I wasn’t exactly black. I was a lukewarm Colored person.”

Noah grapples with the complexity and ambiguity of his racial identity, exemplifying the struggles faced by mixed-race individuals in a society that rigidly classified people based on race.

4. “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.”

This quote unveils the disparities in opportunities faced by different racial groups during apartheid. Financial freedom provided choices that were often unattainable for many.

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5. “Being chosen is the greatest gift you can give to another human being.”

Noah reflects on the significance of being chosen, whether it be for a relationship, a job, or even friendship, as it counteracts the systemic racism that often denies individuals such opportunities.

6. “People love to say, ‘Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.’ What they don’t say is, ‘And it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.'”

This quote highlights the importance of providing equal opportunities and resources to uplift marginalized communities, rather than merely expecting them to overcome systemic barriers on their own.

7. “I became a chameleon. My color didn’t change, but I could change your perception of my color.”

Noah reflects on his ability to adapt to various situations and navigate the complexities of race, showcasing the resilience of those subjected to racism.

8. “Language brings with it an identity and a culture, or at least the perception of it.”

Noah emphasizes how language not only shapes one’s identity but also serves as a vessel for cultural preservation and understanding.

9. “In any society built on institutionalized racism, race-mixing doesn’t merely challenge the system as unjust, it reveals the system as unsustainable and incoherent.”

Noah delves into the inherent contradictions and flaws within a racist system, exposing the absurdity of dividing people based on their race.

10. “The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it—and then dismantle it.”

Noah emphasizes the importance of recognizing and confronting racism head-on, rather than turning a blind eye, in order to create a more equitable society.

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Q1: What is the significance of the title, “Born A Crime”?

The title of the book, “Born A Crime,” reflects the apartheid-era law that prohibited interracial relationships. Noah’s existence, being a mixed-race child, was considered illegal, symbolizing the oppressive nature of apartheid.

Q2: How does Trevor Noah’s memoir shed light on the impact of racism in South Africa?

Through his personal experiences, Noah provides a raw and unfiltered account of the racial divisions and prejudices that permeated South African society during apartheid. By sharing his narrative, he aims to raise awareness about the far-reaching consequences of racism.

Q3: What is the book’s overall message?

“Born A Crime” conveys a powerful message of resilience, hope, and the potential for change. It encourages readers to challenge the status quo, confront racism, and work towards a more inclusive and just society.


“Born A Crime” serves as a powerful testament to the enduring impact of racism. Trevor Noah’s thought-provoking quotes highlight the complexities of racial identity, the manipulation of language, and the urgent need to dismantle systemic racism. By shedding light on these topics, Noah’s memoir invites readers to confront the harsh realities of apartheid and encourages them to strive for a more equitable world.