Student holding the current book - When They Call You a Terrorist

Current Book

"Born a Crime" was written by Trevor Noah, host of the award-winning "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central. Noah was born during apartheid in South Africa, the child of a Black mother and a white father. The book's title refers to the fact that the union of such a couple was illegal at the time of his birth.

In this moving memoir, Noah shares his experiences grappling with his identity and coping with racism. He also reflects on the influence his family had on his life, particularly his mother. With his lighthearted approach to meaningful topics, Noah invites readers to contemplate a range of issues relevant to the world today.


"[Noah's] electrifying memoir sparkles with funny stories...and his candid and compassionate essays deepen our perception of the complexities of race, gender, and class."


"By turns alarming, sad and funny, [Trevor Noah’s] book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah’s family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. 'Born a Crime' is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author's remarkable mother."

-Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times


  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Civic responsibility
  • Parent-child relationships and family complexities
  • Systemic oppression
  • Social economic status/poverty
  • Code-switching as a mechanism for survival
  • Apartheid and group think
  • Religion/belief systems
  • Culture
  • Mental health
  • Domestic violence
  • Criminal justice system inequities

Get the Book

The book is available in print, e-book and audiobook editions. You have several options for purchasing or borrowing a copy.

The book's cost depends on the edition you buy and where you purchase it. You can buy a copy from:

Options for borrowing the book include:

Give the Book

After you read the book, consider donating it to an incoming student. Feel free to include a welcoming note.

Here's how to donate your copy:

  • Bring it to Orientation and First Year Programs.
  • Send it to Orientation and First Year Programs through campus mail.

Contact Us

Common Reading Experience

Orientation and First Year Programs
Holmes Student Center 250

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