This Assignment is aboutBorn a Crime by Trevor NoahDespite his primary school teacher’s recommendation that he remain in the advanced, white dominated classes, Noah opts to take lower-level classes with black students instead. He writes,
“With the black kids, I wasn’t constantly trying to be. With the black kids, I just was” (p. 59).
What does this suggest about identity and belonging, especially in light of Noah’s interracial identity?
Once you have posted your initial comments of about 250 words, return to the discussion to read all the postings of your classmates. Choose at least two classmates and write replies of at least 150 words to each. Make sure you address them by first name and then sign your reply with your own first name.
You must cite passages from the literature to support your ideas, and you must include a Works Cited entry.
No other resources are required — just the assigned reading material.
Initial response should be 150-200 words
Replies to at least two of your classmates must be 150+ words as well.
Treat the discussion forums like any other writing assignment.
* Messages should be clear and concise, and ideas should be formed from the reading materials.
* I expect no errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, or sentence structure.
* Use proper English — no text-language, no IM language. Read the complete rules for Discussion Forum posting in your syllabus.
You must use the literature to support your ideas. Be sure to cite your sources using MLA citation style.
Replies to at least two of your classmates:
1.Student Minze Ouyang’s Essay for Reply:
Racial identity plays an important role in self-recognition and identity. From my view, there are two key factors that impacts the racial identity: heredity and environment. Heredity is intrinsic to us, since no one can change the color of their skin or their physical features associated with their race. In fact, Noah says that “I saw myself as the people around me, and the people around me were black” (p.57). Therefore, it is very common for people to develop a racial identity based on the color of their skin.
Nonetheless, environment can shape our self-recognition as well. Since Noah has an interracial identity, the environment played a significant role in helping him establish his racial identity. Where and how Noah grow up is very different from many of the black people in Africa. For instance, Noah said that “in Eden Park,everyone looked like me, but we couldn’t have been more different” (p.104). As a result, Noah also feel disconnected with some of the black communities.
Noah, Trevor.Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood. 1st ed., Spiegel & Grau, 2016
2. StudentShannon Barthelemy for Reply:
Despite being born colored, a term synonymous with interracial in the apartheid era of South Africa, Trevor Noah primarily identifies with his mother’s side of his family, or his black side. In Born A Crime, Noah discusses how he opts to take lower level classes with the black students at his school instead of taking upper level classes with the white students. During recess, Noah writes that “the white kids…went in one direction, the black kids went in another direction, and I was left standing in the middle” (p. 57). This sentence highlights the confusion and ambiguity Noah experiences due to his race. He ultimately finds that he identifies more with the black kids, as he grew up around his mother’s side of the family. Noah refers to this when he writes “I saw myself as the people around me, and the people around me were black” (p. 59). Even though Noah’s father was white, and he had been to white church, he still spent much of his childhood with his black side of the family. I believe this was a main factor in what helped Noah to develop his identity and sense of belonging. I speculate that he felt comfortable around the black kids at school and got along better with them compared to the white kids because they were the same color as the side of his family that he predominantly spent his childhood with.
Noah, Trevor. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood. 1st ed., Spiegel & Grau, 2016.
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