Racism and prejudice


One of the main themes of the autobiography Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is racism and prejudice. Trevor fights racism and prejudice throughout his childhood and youth. The book mainly differentiates between individual racism, which Trevor experiences first-hand and institutionalized racism, which burdens people of color throughout South Africa. 

Trevor is firstly the victim of institutionalized racism, which prohibits the existence of mixed-race families. As his mother is black and his father is white, Trevor is born a mixed-race child and faces racism from the moment he is born, during apartheid: “Apartheid was perfect racism” (Chapter 1, p. 25). Because of this, his father is forced to stay away from him and his mother is forced to hide the fact that Trevor is her son, for fear of being arrested for breaking the law. 

Institutionalized racism also means that people of color are physically segregated and forced to live separately from whites. Soweto, for example, is a place where only black people are allowed to live, so Trevor’s presence there is dangerous and breaks th...

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