Born a Crime

by

Trevor Noah

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Nelson Mandela Term Analysis

The most internationally renowned anti-apartheid activist, the leader of the African National Congress, and the first democratically elected President of South Africa (1994-1999). Born in 1918, Mandela (whose Xhosa name is Rolihlahla and is also referred to as Madiba) was active in the ANC before apartheid even began in 1948 and was denounced as a terrorist and imprisoned by the apartheid government for 27 years as a result of his activism. Mandela shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with the Afrikaner president who dismantled the apartheid laws and freed him from prison.

Nelson Mandela Quotes in Born a Crime

The Born a Crime quotes below are all either spoken by Nelson Mandela or refer to Nelson Mandela. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism, Apartheid, and the Cycle of Poverty Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of Born a Crime published in 2016.
Chapter 9 Quotes

Colored people had it rough. Imagine: You've been brainwashed into believing that your blood is tainted. You've spent all your time assimilating and aspiring to whiteness. Then, just as you think you're closing in on the finish line, some fucking guy named Nelson Mandela comes along and flips the country on its head. Now the finish line is back where the starting line was, and the benchmark is black. Black is in charge. Black is beautiful. Black is powerful. For centuries colored people were told: Blacks are monkeys. Don't swing from the trees like them. Learn to walk upright like the white man. Then all of a sudden it's Planet of the Apes, and the monkeys have taken over.

Related Characters: Trevor Noah (speaker)
Page Number: 120
Explanation and Analysis:
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Nelson Mandela Term Timeline in Born a Crime

The timeline below shows where the term Nelson Mandela appears in Born a Crime. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Racism, Apartheid, and the Cycle of Poverty Theme Icon
Resilience Through Religion, Education, and Humor Theme Icon
Nelson Mandela is released from prison when Noah is five. Being so young, Noah scarcely understands what... (full context)
Chapter 2
Racism, Apartheid, and the Cycle of Poverty Theme Icon
Identity, Belonging, and Community Theme Icon
Resilience Through Religion, Education, and Humor Theme Icon
...the country. Noah first encounters one of these exiles at the age of 17, after Mandela is elected to the presidency and it becomes safe to live publicly in a mixed... (full context)
Chapter 15
Racism, Apartheid, and the Cycle of Poverty Theme Icon
Identity, Belonging, and Community Theme Icon
Resilience Through Religion, Education, and Humor Theme Icon
...“Jews in South Africa are just white people.” He announces that “now we have Nelson Mandela on our side!” The woman is horribly confused, and the crew dances their way out... (full context)