Trevor Noah Awarded By NAACP. Will His Book, “Born A Crime,” Become Required Reading?

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Written by Dana Sanchez

Journalism professors at U.S.-based Morgan State University have been encouraged to incorporate Trevor Noah’s new book, “Born A Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood,” into their classes, Atlanta Black Star reported.

South African Noah is a comedian and host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” Copies of his book have been distributed to students and faculty, says Jared A. Ball, an associate professor in the School of Global Journalism and Communication at Morgan State.

The book landed Noah two awards Friday night at the 48th annual NAACP Image Awards, presented by the American National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to honor outstanding people of color in film, TV, music, and literature.

Noah is still finding his voice on “The Daily Show,” Will Ashton wrote in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He is “filled with compassionate insight and a unique perspective on infuriating current events, but the South African comedian lacks the clear tenacity, defiance and sheer indignation that made Mr. Stewart such a stalwart. Time will treat him well, though,” Ashton said.

The child of a black African Xhosa woman and a white Swiss father, Noah is considered Colored in South Africa. His parents’ union was considered unlawful during apartheid.

“Noah attempts to craft a very distinct and authoritative (multi)racial personae, one perfectly suited to his position as an elite commercial media product,” Ball said in a guest column in Atlanta Black Star. “One that allows him to be seen by American commercial media audiences as an authority on race precisely because of his particular brand of anti-Black racial ideology reaffirmation.

“It works because he is, but yet isn’t, Black. It’s a kind of  ‘connected distance’ that helps authenticate while mollifying. He is special but not so much as to really challenge convention. As has already been noted by Tomi Obaro, Noah’s rise to prominence in the U.S. coincided with his routine willingness to use appearances in this country to denigrate Black people.”

If cable TV fails Noah, “the world of literature will remain a firm ally,” said Ashton, who described “Born a Crime” as “extraordinarily heartfelt, compulsively enriching (and) a hell of a memoir.”

From Channel 24.

At the 48th annual NAACP Image Awards on Friday night, Trevor won in the categories Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author and Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/ Autobiography.

“Such an honor to receive two NAACP Image Awards for my book “Born A Crime,'” Trevor wrote on Facebook following the ceremony. “Thank you to every single person who has shared in my story.”

The NAACP Image Awards handed out 47 of its 56 trophies during a non-televised gala dinner in Pasadena, California.

The final nine winners including Entertainer of the Year will be unveiled on Saturday night during a two-hour show airing on TV One.

Other winners included Viola Davis (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture), Laurence Fishburne (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series) and Regina King (Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie).

Beyoncé won three awards in the music category for Best Female Artist, Best Music Video and Best Album, Deadline reported.

See a full list of all the winners here.

Read more at Channel 24.


About Dana Sanchez

Dana Sanchez was born in South Africa and is a U.S. citizen. After working in advertising, she went back to school and earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of South Florida. As a business writer, she won regional and national writing awards. As editor of a daily newspaper, she coordinated staff writers, freelancers and photographers in the fast-paced environment of daily news. Dana was an editor at Moguldom Media Group for four years, helping to build and manage a team of staff and freelance writers. She works now on Moguldom.com for Nubai Ventures. A long-distance hiker and cyclist, she writes about the business of technology.