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[2 of 5] Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, Part I, Chapters 4-8, by Trevor Noah (2019)

Author: Trevor Noah

“Part 1, Chapters 4 - 8.” Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, by Trevor Noah, Spiegel & Grau, 2019.


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4 CHAMELEON

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One afternoon I was playing with my cousins. I was a doctor and they were my patients. I was operating on my cousin Bulelwa’s ear with a set of matches when I accidentally perforated her eardrum. All hell broke loose. My grandmother came running in from the kitchen. “Kwenzeka ntoni?!” “What’s happening?!” There was blood coming out of my cousin’s head. We were all crying. My grandmother patched up Bulelwa’s ear and made sure to stop the bleeding. But we kept crying. Because clearly we’d done something we were not supposed to do, and we knew we were going to be punished. My grandmother finished up with Bulelwa’s ear and whipped out a belt and she beat the shit out of Bulelwa. Then she beat the shit out of Mlungisi, too. She didn’t touch me.

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Oct 26
Alis N (Oct 26 2020 11:08AM) : they was treating him like he was white
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Dec 18
Darren B (Dec 18 2020 11:53AM) : reply more

i do find that sad and crazy because back in the day if you had a little bit of black in you you would be identified as black

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Feb 10
Iajanay O (Feb 10 2021 8:53AM) : i agree and i feel as though that wasn't right because if your mixed your were really in the middle
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Feb 10
Ashanti T (Feb 10 2021 11:44AM) : I agree with her more
Because I am mixed and I am always treated like I am only white but really I am black and white.
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Feb 11
Niazia C (Feb 11 2021 12:06PM) : i agree he should of been treated like others
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Nov 13
brooklyn w (Nov 13 2021 5:53PM) : I completely agree with you. It is interesting to see how people identify and how judgement plays into this. In no way is it ok for someone to disrespect a persons race and decided how another identifies as.
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Nov 22
Connor M (Nov 22 2021 5:38PM) : Reply more

I agree with you and I feel that he shouldn’t have been treated this way.

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Feb 10
Melody C (Feb 10 2021 12:24PM) : I agree with u because they all treated him differently than others and treated him like he was white this doesn´t seem right at all.
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Feb 11
Niazia C (Feb 11 2021 12:05PM) : i agree just because he was mixed doesn't mean he should have got treated like he was white
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Feb 11
Samuel R (Feb 11 2021 7:51PM) : treat like white? more

So are you saying whites should get better treatment?

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Dec 17
Sanaa K (Dec 17 2020 1:26PM) : They did not hit noah because he was white and it would show when he got hit
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Dec 18
Kameron M (Dec 18 2020 11:42AM) : Reply more

I agree , if feel like he knew he wouldn’t get hit. Maybe he abused that fact .

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Feb 10
Ahmir R (Feb 10 2021 9:34AM) : I think they should thought that over. That's a bad way to determine who gets beat, nt saying it would be right to him him but not a smart way to make that decision.
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Feb 10
Christian M (Feb 10 2021 10:03AM) : He was not white but he was white to his family and everyone around him because his skin color was slightly lighter.
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Dec 17
Marsena B (Dec 17 2020 1:32PM) : Awareness [Edited] more

He knew that he had white privilege and he used it to his best abilities. Trevor also had disadvantages since he wasn’t allowed to visit his father and his mother acted like she didn’t know him at times. He couldn’t play outside with other kids aswell. Some advantages was he didn’t get beat by his grandmother and white people treated him like their own.

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Dec 18
Kwesi K (Dec 18 2020 11:38AM) : I agree more

He had to live his life hiding from the police.

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Dec 18
Jordan S (Dec 18 2020 11:45AM) : Agree more

Di to his color he had some huge restrictions to some of the things he could do.

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Feb 10
Iajanay O (Feb 10 2021 8:55AM) : i agree but just because he was mixed doesn't mean he had to take advantage he chose to
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Feb 10
Ashanti T (Feb 10 2021 11:46AM) : I agree with you more

I think that he didn’t have to take advantage but he chose to because he thought it would be easier.

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Feb 10
Ahmir R (Feb 10 2021 9:36AM) : It definitely sad to not be able be with your father and your mother would have to let go of you because of the laws. Some advantages that he was given, he was lucky to have.
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Feb 10
Raniyah L (Feb 10 2021 2:53PM) : I agree that he did have advantages. more

Yes, I agree he did have advantages. He could do things that would get HIM in trouble but then other people would get in trouble for what he did, such as his cousins.

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Dec 17
Kwesi K (Dec 17 2020 1:46PM) : Theme response [Edited] more

His family had never seen a white person bruise so they were scared something was wrong. This could be because as a black family they have never punished a white boy. So when his skin changes color they think he might be sick or something

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Dec 17
Marsena B (Dec 17 2020 1:46PM) : Mood more

I wonder how Trevor felt when he was outcasted and called “the white man”. He may have been used to it, but when it happened the first time did he want to fit in with other black children? I’m sure he wanted to change his skin color atleast once to fit in, because I would think the same thing. Them pointing him out also put him at risk because his grandmother was of a darker skin tone.

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Feb 10
Christian M (Feb 10 2021 10:04AM) : Its kinda crazy how people saw him as white although he still had some color just shows how their brain operated.
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Dec 17
Kemet K (Dec 17 2020 1:53PM) : Trevor calls himself a chameleon based on how he responds to people in Zulu and Tswana. He also says how he didn't look like anyone but speaks like them. Then claims he is them
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Dec 17
Dillon J (Dec 17 2020 4:11PM) : Awareness more

I say Awareness because in the text it says “My dad’s restaurant was an instant, booming success” I connect to this because now in 2020 us blacks are really growing in business

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Dec 18
Samiyah C (Dec 18 2020 11:38AM) : Reply more

I agree because before 2020, it was alot of black businesses that were popular, but in 2020 that’s when people really started doing “support black businesses.”

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Feb 10
Ahmir R (Feb 10 2021 9:38AM) : I completely agree. I guess 2020's quarantine gave people nothing to do besides shop and find new things out there.
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Dec 17
Dillon J (Dec 17 2020 4:18PM) : Racism more

Last but not least in the text it stats that "You’ll need white toilets, black toilets, colored toilets, and Indian toilets.” And first why in the world would you get 10 million toilets for each didn’t color that butt….. That’s drawing

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Feb 18
Yojannis M (Feb 18 2021 6:24PM) : i definitely agree that will be dumb to sit here and buy millions of toilets because of somebody color
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Dec 17
Darren B (Dec 17 2020 4:21PM) : readers connection more

I can completely agree this paragraph. on how black people had dogs for those reasons.but i do have to say that the dog names here are pretty diverse.

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Dec 18
Adrian G (Dec 18 2020 11:53AM) : Reaction to this Paragraph more

I agree with you Darren because Mexicans have dogs to protect the house.In Mexico we really don’t care the name of the dogs.

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Dec 17
Darren B (Dec 17 2020 4:30PM) : readers connection more

i can relate with this paragraph a little just with a cat instead.my cat seemed like the health type but out of no were she started acting up and we did realize she was getting really old(she was older that me).and eventually we found out she was really sick and we had to put her down

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Dec 18
Amir C (Dec 18 2020 9:55AM) : Reader connection more

I agree because my cat get sick often. I realize I have to give her certain foods. And make sure she can regenrate her enegry

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Dec 18
Kalani S (Dec 18 2020 10:00AM) : The way he acted other children may be able to relate to him.
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Dec 18
Kameron M (Dec 18 2020 11:40AM) : Awareness more

Noah was treated as if he was white. He was not punished while the others were. I think he might’ve knew about his privileges due to his skin tone .

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Feb 11
Desiree H (Feb 11 2021 9:36AM) : I agree he did know his privileges but he was also young so he might've also been confused
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Feb 10
Dasani D (Feb 10 2021 12:11PM) : that aint fair because he was apart of it too.
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Feb 10
Jaylen C (Feb 10 2021 3:07PM) : was operating on my cousin Bulelwa’s ear with a set of matches when I accidentally perforated her eardrum!!! more

ithe first tbhing that came to mind was how dumb that was and the fact that he never got in trouble

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Feb 10
Jaylen C (Feb 10 2021 3:26PM) : “Because,” she would say, “even if he never leaves the ghetto, he will know that the ghetto is not the world. more

That is going to stick when I say that I mean that’s good advice you’re going to remember

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Mar 17
Ziyair D (Mar 17 2021 10:37PM) : l more

that’s crazy how they his grandma and grandpa treated him like he better

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Nov 17
Sam O (Nov 17 2021 1:29PM) : This shows how ingrained systemic racism was in this society. Noah's grandmother was perfectly fine beating and punishing her black grandkids, but didn't want to hurt Noah because he was part white, and she just "knew" that it was wrong to hurt him.
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Dec 13
Lily T (Dec 13 2021 1:37PM) : This provides insight into how Trevor was treated differently. It forms a look into how Trevor began to form ideas around his own identity due to the people around him enforcing ideas that apartheid had placed upon him and his family.
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May 11
AKUMANI S (May 11 2022 1:34PM) : she was afraid of beating him
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Nov 19
Olivia C (Nov 19 2021 1:35PM) : Speaker more

Introduces the type of person the speaker really is

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Feb 9
Isabel V (Feb 09 2021 4:40PM) : It's very important more

This quote is important because it’s something major that I might need to remember down the line.

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Feb 9
Isabel V (Feb 09 2021 4:43PM) : better treatment more

There trying to treat him better than all other ones like if he one of the white kids.

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May 23
Mohammed A (May 23 2022 12:46PM) : why will he operate his cousin with matches?
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Nov 17
Lily V (Nov 17 2021 4:40PM) : Syntax & repetition more

Made both sentences about them crying short. Repeating this makes the fact that they are crying is an issue or distracting to the situation

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Feb 10
Christian M (Feb 10 2021 9:37AM) : Trevor didn't get punished because he is mixed with white Trevor's grandma probably thought she couldn't because Trevor was lighter than everyone else.
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Feb 10
Raniyah L (Feb 10 2021 2:55PM) : Trevor has advantages as a kid growing up. more

I can tell that he had advantages because when he would do bad things, he wouldn’t get in trouble but his cousins would get in trouble. His cousins weren’t supposed to be doing that either but he did the damage.

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Nov 12
Paul F (Nov 12 2021 2:19PM) : Paragraph 2, Sentence 15 more

She was afraid to touch him/hurt him because he was considered white in their country

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Nov 22
Arual D (Nov 22 2021 10:40AM) : She didn't beat him up because he was different from his cousins (even though it was his fault)
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May 17
ERNAIDA O (May 17 2022 1:05PM) : why she didn't beat him?
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May 23
Mohammed A (May 23 2022 12:47PM) : why didn't his grandmother beat him too?

Later that night my mother came home from work. She found my cousin with a bandage over her ear and my gran crying at the kitchen table.

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“What’s going on?” my mom said.

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Feb 10
Emily V (Feb 10 2021 8:26PM) : this is so mess up I wonder now why he was bad like just because he was white she was afraid to hit him smh.
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“Oh, Nombuyiselo,” she said. “Trevor is so naughty. He’s the naughtiest child I’ve ever come across in my life.”

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“Then you should hit him.” “I can’t hit him.”

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Dec 10
Charlie L (Dec 10 2021 12:51AM) : Dialogue more

The way he writes this dialogue is interesting because I can hear each voice distinctly without the clarification of who said it.

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Feb 10
Raniyah L (Feb 10 2021 2:23PM) : Makes me think and wonder. [Edited] more

This makes me wonder why she can’t hit him if he is being naughty/bad. This makes me wonder if she is only saying she doesn’t know how to beat a white kid because she just doesn’t want to because he is white.

“Why not?”

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“Because I don’t know how to hit a white child,” she said. “A black child, I understand. A black child, you hit them and they stay black. Trevor, when you hit him he turns blue and green and yellow and red. I’ve never seen those colors before. I’m scared I’m going to break him. I don’t want to kill a white person. I’m so afraid. I’m not going to touch him.” And she never did.

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Feb 10
Zahir M (Feb 10 2021 9:48AM) : That just blows my mind that she really thought he was a bad child and he didn't get punished because his skin tone was a lighter shade.
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Feb 10
saniya f (Feb 10 2021 10:05AM) : that's not fair he didn't get a beaten when he was the one who did it. SMH [Edited]
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Mar 17
Ziyair D (Mar 17 2021 10:41PM) : . more

I think trevor should had got punish even if he was lighter or darker it shouldn’t matter about skin

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Nov 24
Madison H (Nov 24 2021 12:19AM) : Obviously a fear that most people of color have, and with the kyle rittenhouse case these fears are only being exaggerated.
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Dec 12
Liam A (Dec 12 2021 7:32PM) : The whole scenario sort of hints towards that she would've done it had he been darker than she was. However the tones they had gave off a very different result. Kind of shows the chain of discrimination
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Apr 28
Wesam A (Apr 28 2022 12:29PM) : she thinks she could get arrested if she nits trevor
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Dec 17
Anderson J (Dec 17 2020 12:23PM) : Theme Response- Racial [Edited] more

They dont discipline him because of his skintone. As if he were black he would of been hit.

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Dec 18
Isaiah B (Dec 18 2020 10:00AM) : Comment more

I agree because trevor he is a little lighter so I guess she didn’t wanna beat him because of his skin color.

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Feb 9
Isabel V (Feb 09 2021 4:44PM) : Correct more

I agree with you Anderson

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Feb 10
saniya f (Feb 10 2021 10:08AM) : That's terrible.
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Feb 10
Raniyah L (Feb 10 2021 2:44PM) : I agree... more

I agree with you, I think she is only not hitting him because he is white but if he was a black kid she would have.

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Nov 12
Paul F (Nov 12 2021 2:20PM) : Paragraph 8, Sentence 1 more

Shows the context of what it was like in South Africa back then, how she found it hard to hurt her child because he was considered to be of the higher race than her

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Nov 14
Bella T (Nov 14 2021 7:21PM) : She doesn't hit him because he has a lighter skin tone. If his complexion was darker she would have.
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Nov 22
Arual D (Nov 22 2021 10:41AM) : she is conflicted because she sees him as a white kid and she's only ever dealt with black kids
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Dec 10
Jossan A (Dec 10 2021 2:32PM) : Shows the privilege he with punishments for having a lighter skin tone
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Dec 12
Liam A (Dec 12 2021 7:30PM) : Racism is so ingrained from an early age
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May 17
Cristy I (May 17 2022 1:07PM) : .
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May 23
Mohammed A (May 23 2022 12:49PM) : most africans see white people as God.
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Nov 19
Olivia C (Nov 19 2021 1:36PM) : Race Issue more

Trevor is treated as white in his household as they say they would feel comfortable hitting a black child.

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Dec 17
Heaven H (Dec 17 2020 8:18PM) : Trevor is treated as a white child in his family.
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Feb 9
Isabel V (Feb 09 2021 4:44PM) : facts more

yes exactly

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Dec 18
William E (Dec 18 2020 11:14AM) : Trevor's grandmother doesn't want to hit him because she'll turn him colors that she's never seen before. [Edited]
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Dec 18
Phillip C (Dec 18 2020 11:36AM) : iagree more

she wouldnt hit him because trevor was technically a white chiled

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Feb 10
Christian M (Feb 10 2021 9:39AM) : Trevor's grandma was scared to whoop him because he changed colors when he was hit.
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Feb 10
Samuel R (Feb 10 2021 9:53AM) : Skin Color more

My sister was lighter than all of us in the family. And she got softer punishment.

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Feb 11
Aniya F (Feb 11 2021 2:13AM) : Trevor, when you hit him he turns blue and green and yellow and red. I’ve never seen those colors before. more

his grandmom scared to hit him cause his skin color

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Nov 17
Penelope D (Nov 17 2021 4:07PM) : Descriptive, makes you think about how different times were, and how differences in color played a big part of everyday life.
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Nov 12
Paul F (Nov 12 2021 2:22PM) : Paragraph 8, Sentence 7 more

Societal norms say that she can’t kill a white person, but Trevor’s mixed race is also illegal and so she’s afraid that the government might find out about it if she killed him

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Dec 10
Jossan A (Dec 10 2021 2:33PM) : punishment for killing white people is more severe than killing a person of color
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Nov 23
Anguau M (Nov 23 2021 3:08PM) : Trevor's grandmother was afraid to hit him because of the fact that he was mixed race and she could legally get in a lot of trouble.
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My grandmother treated me like I was white. My grandfather did, too, only he was even more extreme. He called me “Mastah.” In the car, he insisted on driving me as if he were my chauffeur. “Mastah must always sit in the backseat.” I never challenged him on it. What was I going to say? “I believe your perception of race is flawed, Grandfather.” No. I was five. I sat in the back.

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Oct 29
Alis N (Oct 29 2020 10:25AM) : i agreevthat grandfather always treats him like white people because no matter what race we are, we all deserve the same right
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Mar 17
Ziyair D (Mar 17 2021 10:44PM) : . more

I feel like the grandpa and grandma shouldn’t be treating him like that he is not a god he is the same as us

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May 17
ERNAIDA O (May 17 2022 1:06PM) : that might be weird being called master by your grandfather
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Dec 18
Marcus W (Dec 18 2020 11:40AM) : His grandpa was trying to call him white because he had a white dad.
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Dec 20
William E (Dec 20 2020 3:09PM) : His grandfather was calling him "Mastah" because of how white he was. Also, slaves callled their white slave owners "Mastah".
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Dec 23
Shyann G (Dec 23 2020 2:29PM) : agree more

I agree with this because they kept forgetting he had black in him.

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Feb 10
Melody C (Feb 10 2021 12:38PM) : I agree with u because they seemed like they didn´t know he was half black and that he was just white because of his light tone.
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Dec 23
Shyann G (Dec 23 2020 2:28PM) : dx more

His grandparent treated him white because white people were more privalleged but kept forgetting his mother was white.

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Nov 22
Arual D (Nov 22 2021 10:42AM) : by calling him "Mastah" he is emphasizing that he is different, maybe even of higher status
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May 23
Mohammed A (May 23 2022 12:50PM) : why Africans treat white people differently.
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Nov 12
Paul F (Nov 12 2021 2:23PM) : Paragraph 9, Sentence 8 more

It’s interesting how he shows his child-like innocence by saying that he knew that he was being treated better but he couldn’t exactly place his finger on why

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Nov 22
Arual D (Nov 22 2021 10:44AM) : he knew that the perception his grandfather had of him was wrong but you must always respect your elders and correcting them is seen as disrespectful; also he is five
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Dec 10
Jossan A (Dec 10 2021 2:35PM) : this sentence shows how his youth has effected his view on race, making it more difficult to understand certain situations like this
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Nov 17
Penelope D (Nov 17 2021 4:08PM) : He uses humor to help soften the blow of the harsh topic he is talking about, and also to engage the reader and make the whole book feel more down to earth.
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Nov 17
Lily V (Nov 17 2021 4:43PM) : Choices more

He makes the “No” its own sentences making it final and there is no other argument against it.

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There were so many perks to being “white” in a black family, I can’t even front. I was having a great time. My own family basically did what the American justice system does: I was given more lenient treatment than the black kids. Misbehavior that my cousins would have been punished for, I was given a warning and let off. And I was way naughtier than either of my cousins. It wasn’t even close. If something got broken or if someone was stealing granny’s cookies, it was me. I was trouble.

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Dec 17
Zakirah H (Dec 17 2020 12:12PM) : Theme response Trevor got treated better then his cousins because he was half white. Trevor got away with everything, his grandmother would not beat him because he was white . If Trevor had done something they would beat his cousins. [Edited]
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Dec 18
Jadon E (Dec 18 2020 11:01AM) : Agree more

I agree with this statement. Due to his lighter pigmentation he recieved better treatment from those who didnt truly understand what he was.

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Dec 18
Danielle H (Dec 18 2020 11:03AM) : Agree more

I agree because his cousins got hit for everything instead of him. He was always left off with a warning even though it didn’t matter

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Dec 18
Tiyanni W (Dec 18 2020 11:45AM) : Agree more

I agree because his color gave him more options to do things because of his color he also had more freedom by getting left with warnings.

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Dec 18
Levi Y (Dec 18 2020 11:49AM) : Agree more

i agree with this because his grandmother didnt want to beat him because he was “white” and he got to be in a white classroom.

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Feb 10
Iajanay O (Feb 10 2021 8:57AM) : i agree to what she said just because trevor was lighter doesn't mean his cousin who was darker should have glot beat
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Feb 10
Ashanti T (Feb 10 2021 11:49AM) : I agree with Iajanay
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Feb 10
Dasani D (Feb 10 2021 12:13PM) : agree
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Feb 10
Melody C (Feb 10 2021 12:32PM) : I agree I feel like he got away from some stuff by his privilege also his mother didn´t want to hit him because she didn´d want to see his true colors.
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Dec 17
Samiyah C (Dec 17 2020 1:48PM) : Compare/contrast more

This reminds me of the united states because in today’s society people of color still get treated worse than “white” people. For example, if a person of color tells a police officer no, it’s going to be a big problem. However, if a “white” person literally yells at a police officer, they will still be patient.

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Dec 18
jade j (Dec 18 2020 10:06AM) : I agree more

Trevor was treated differently than his cousins because he had white in him and his cousins would get beat if they did something, but he wouldn’t.

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Feb 10
Ashanti T (Feb 10 2021 11:53AM) : skin tone more

I think that it was unfair for Trevor’s other family members to get treated badly because they were colored and he was getting treated like he was actual white.

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Nov 13
brooklyn w (Nov 13 2021 5:56PM) : I was sad to see how race transpired into Trevor's own home life. What about being mixed led others to believe he was better than his darker skinned blood brothers, sisters and cousins? I am disgusted by this.
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Dec 17
Heaven H (Dec 17 2020 8:12PM) : It was uncommon for a child to be white,and have a black family,but trevor seems to enjoy it.
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Dec 18
Zakirah H (Dec 18 2020 11:06AM) : I agree with this statement their wasnt many mixed children around so the way his mother treated him made the experience better.
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Dec 18
Marcus W (Dec 18 2020 11:48AM) : I agree but disagree more

I agree because it was rare for a white child to be in a black family. But I disagree because I don’t think he really enjoys it because he is treated a different way from the rest of his family because of his color. Also he is pressured a lot more in school, and is held to higher standards then any other black person.

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Dec 18
Marcus W (Dec 18 2020 11:43AM) : I think he meant that he could get a lot of things for and from his family because his skin color made him more privilaged.
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Feb 10
Raniyah L (Feb 10 2021 2:31PM) : This shows me... [Edited] more

This shows me that he was not affected by being white. It seems to me that he had more privileges. I know it affected his connection with his family though.

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Nov 19
Olivia C (Nov 19 2021 1:37PM) : Speaker Background more

Identifies that the speaker is white and he is okay with that.

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Nov 12
Paul F (Nov 12 2021 2:24PM) : Paragraph 10, Sentence 3 more

This is a really interesting comparison to make, especially in this time of increased racial injustice in our country

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Nov 19
Maya R (Nov 19 2021 11:17AM) : Comparing his family to the American justice system to further solidify his point that the whiter you are the more leniency.
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Nov 22
Arual D (Nov 22 2021 10:45AM) : the american justice system glorifies white kids and is very lenient, but black kids are treated more harshly and are punished more often
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Nov 22
Kate Y (Nov 22 2021 12:25PM) : Claim/comparison more

This claim compares his treatment to the treatment of different races in our country. It goes to show how this injustice goes deeper than just being seen widely in a country, but it can also be seen in families, a place where you’d think that everyone would be treated the same.

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Dec 10
Jossan A (Dec 10 2021 2:36PM) : this is very bold comparison, and it shows the way other countries view our justice system
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May 17
Cristy I (May 17 2022 1:06PM) : .
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May 23
Mohammed A (May 23 2022 12:52PM) : this means that racism is everywhere in the world.
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Nov 22
Arual D (Nov 22 2021 10:47AM) : like America, a white kid can do something horrible and get off with a warning, but a black kid could be completely innocent and they would be punished
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My mom was the only force I truly feared. She believed if you spare the rod, you spoil the child. But everyone else said, “No, he’s different,” and they gave me a pass. Growing up the way I did, I learned how easy it is for white people to get comfortable with a system that awards them all the perks. I knew my cousins were getting beaten for things that I’d done, but I wasn’t interested in changing my grandmother’s perspective, because that would mean I’d get beaten, too. Why would I do that? So that I’d feel better? Being beaten didn’t make me feel better. I had a choice. I could champion racial justice in our home, or I could enjoy granny’s cookies. I went with the cookies.

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Dec 17
Tyairra G (Dec 17 2020 12:12PM) : Comparison/contrast response more

In the Us, white people are more likely to spared a punishment because of their skin color. Trevor discovered he has white privilege and starts doing whatever he wants.He was spared a punishment from his grandmother because he has lighter skin.

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Dec 17
Jadon E (Dec 17 2020 12:22PM) : This is theme response. more

Theme response
Trevor even though he was a bad child he had complete respect for his mother. Trevors Mother was the only one in the family who genuinely kept the power dynamic in her favor. This gave trevor a good connection of with his mother which was special compared to that of other people.

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Dec 18
Santee S (Dec 18 2020 11:06AM) : This is theme response. more

I agree with this statement because Trevor all through out the story was doing bad things kids usually didn’t do like setting places on fire. He still kept respect for his mother because she was the only person n his life raising him to be a good person. Even with his attitude to others he wasn’t so respectful, but with his mom it was different.

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Feb 10
Zahir M (Feb 10 2021 9:56AM) : So everyone basically feared him because he was half white except for his mom imagine if his mom was scared of him too and he would not been the same person he is today if she ain't treat him like everyone else so props to his mom.
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Dec 12
Cameron M (Dec 12 2021 12:49PM) : Compare and contrast more

Trevor compares the way he was treated as a kid to the real world and how there is a system that favors whites. His commentary on the thought process he had as a kid applies to the way race is treated in society. It is a brilliant way to display big ideas with an experience on a personal level.

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Apr 28
Wesam A (Apr 28 2022 12:31PM) : he wouldn't get hit just because he is mixed
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Nov 19
Olivia C (Nov 19 2021 1:37PM) : Speaker more

Fears his mother the most.

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May 23
Mohammed A (May 23 2022 12:54PM) : some africans are ignorant.
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Dec 17
Yasir D (Dec 17 2020 10:40AM) : This reminds me of the US because it closely resembles "white privilege". Trevors grandmother does not want to whip him because he is mixed and see's him as a devil, but Trevor just thinks he's privileged
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Dec 18
Amir C (Dec 18 2020 9:59AM) : Connction more

I agree because it was the same at the catholic school. They did not know how to trevor. The catholic called trevor wreid kid because he was laughing when he getting a hiding.

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Dec 18
Anderson J (Dec 18 2020 11:19AM) : Racial more

I agree with this because Trevor gets treated differently by everyone else dude to his skin tone.

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Dec 18
Heaven H (Dec 18 2020 11:42AM) : I agree because even his grandmother treated him differently from the others because of his skin tone.
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Feb 10
Melody C (Feb 10 2021 12:33PM) : I agree they treated him like he was just white.
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Dec 12
Liam A (Dec 12 2021 7:34PM) : Its interesting that he grew up as the most privileged kid, but is still able to see both sides
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Feb 10
Christian M (Feb 10 2021 9:41AM) : Trevor took advantage of his grandmas fear to whoop him because he was technically white to her.
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Feb 10
Raniyah L (Feb 10 2021 2:33PM) : I can relate to this. more

I can relate to this because when I was younger I would always get my cousin’s in trouble for things I have done.

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Nov 22
Arual D (Nov 22 2021 10:48AM) : got accustomed to the treatment and fell into a comfortable lifestyle (even though the circumstances were not okay).
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Nov 23
Anguau M (Nov 23 2021 3:10PM) : I think that the this idea of knowing that the way your treated is better than others but not watching to change anything about it realtes to people today. We see the injustices in the world but since it doesn't personally affect you, why get involved?
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Dec 10
Araxan O (Dec 10 2021 12:17PM) : An example of learned helplessness
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May 17
ERNAIDA O (May 17 2022 1:07PM) : thats wrong but smart at the same time, nobody like to get beat up
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Nov 22
Kate Y (Nov 22 2021 12:26PM) : Explains why he stayed quiet- he chose his physical wellbeing over what he thought was right. Interesting way to think about it
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Nov 12
Paul F (Nov 12 2021 2:26PM) : Paragraph 11, Sentence 10 more

I like how he shows his childish tone in these scenes that have serious impact on other people in his life, he only slightly understands and wants cookies more than justice for his cousins

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Nov 17
Sam O (Nov 17 2021 1:37PM) : Trevor's unique position of being a mixed child living in a black family allowed him to see how black children were treated worse than him. If he had grown up in a white family, he would have grown up indignant to the systemic racism.
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Dec 10
Jossan A (Dec 10 2021 2:44PM) : this sentence shows how his immaturity in events that are very impactful in his life. Being a mixed child makes him confused because people of color are always mistreated
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Nov 23
Alex Y (Nov 23 2021 12:02AM) : humorous statement - connects the reader to Trevor's thinking when he was a child to better understand his identity crisis (he doesn't think he is superior and feels bad for others, he takes advantage of his treatment for his own personal gain)

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At that point I didn’t think of the special treatment as having to do with color. I thought of it as having to do with Trevor. It wasn’t, “Trevor doesn’t get beaten because Trevor is white.” It was, “Trevor doesn’t get beaten because Trevor is Trevor.” Trevor can’t go outside. Trevor can’t walk without supervision. It’s because I’m me; that’s why this is happening. I had no other points of reference. There were no other mixed kids around so that I could say, “Oh, this happens to us.”

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Nov 9
Brendaly N (Nov 09 2020 11:09AM) : It seems he was very closed off to reality, he didn’t understand what was happening even though it was happening around him and with him
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Dec 18
Nyla B (Dec 18 2020 11:02AM) : I agree more

because Trevor just experience things and never reflect on his action or the event.

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Dec 18
Chisom U (Dec 18 2020 11:39AM) : Reply more

I agree because Trevor was a little kid and as little kids we don’t know whats going on in our world

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Dec 17
Tiyanni W (Dec 17 2020 6:32PM) : Compare and contrast more

This has something similar to the United states when the white people were very controlling. Blacks didn’t have as many rights like the white people did. Everything was easier for whites because of color.

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Feb 10
Melody C (Feb 10 2021 12:36PM) : I agree with u because a lot of white people had gotten it so easy. To this day white police males are harming innocent black people. And the white police still got away with it. It shows that most white people can get away with things.
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Dec 17
Tiyanni W (Dec 17 2020 8:24PM) : compare and contrast more

In america people with different skin tone from whit was getting beat pretty badly. Trevor didn’t get beat because he looked white so he had passes. Black people in the U.S had it the same as South Africa getting treated different by they color.

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Dec 18
Dirissa T (Dec 18 2020 9:58AM) : I agree with you, the people in america and the people and south africa get persecuted by the color of their skin.
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Dec 18
Damar D. W (Dec 18 2020 10:06AM) : Agreement more

I agree with both Tiyanni W. and Dirissa T. and their statements. And, to add to what they were saying, I think that the darker-skinned people here in America were always the ones being treated badly.

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Nov 12
Paul F (Nov 12 2021 2:27PM) : Paragraph 13, Sentence 1 more

Childish thinking/tone, he thought that his special treatment was because he was truly special, not because of the color of his skin

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Nov 22
Yan C (Nov 22 2021 1:12AM) : Here, the author uses some repetition of his name Trevor to show the uniqueness of him as a light skin kid who gets a lot of special treatment.
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Nov 22
Arual D (Nov 22 2021 10:50AM) : He can only base his experience off of what he knows, and since there were no other kids like him, he thought he was being treated because he is "Trevor"
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May 23
Mohammed A (May 23 2022 12:57PM) : this will always make the other kids feel sad.

Nearly one million people lived in Soweto. Ninety-nine point nine percent of them were black—and then there was me. I was famous in my neighborhood just because of the color of my skin. I was so unique people would give directions using me as a landmark. “The house on Makhalima Street. At the corner you’ll see a light-skinned boy. Take a right there.”

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Nov 22
Arual D (Nov 22 2021 10:51AM) : he was noticed by everyone!
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Nov 22
Zoe M (Nov 22 2021 11:02PM) : Impactful to the readers to see how he was seen to others in South Africa
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Nov 23
Mariam A (Nov 23 2021 1:35PM) : this showed a part of him since he was saying how his differences made him "famous"
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Dec 17
Anderson J (Dec 17 2020 12:30PM) : Theme Response- Racial more

Since he is the only different person people treat him differently. As he was white.

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Dec 18
Kayne G (Dec 18 2020 10:05AM) : I agree , he couldn't have a normal childhood because of it
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Nov 12
Paul F (Nov 12 2021 2:28PM) : Paragraph 14, Sentence 3 more

Here, he sort of develops a cocky tone in mentioning that he was famous because he was light-skinned

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Nov 23
Alex Y (Nov 23 2021 12:06AM) : another funny metaphor to show how different and attention-drawing trevor's race was in the area he grew up
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May 23
Mohammed A (May 23 2022 12:58PM) : i never understand why white people are treated diffidently from black.
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Whenever the kids in the street saw me they’d yell, “Indoda yomlungu!” “The white man!” Some of them would run away. Others would call out to their parents to come look. Others would run up and try to touch me to see if I was real. It was pandemonium. What I didn’t understand at the time was that the other kids genuinely had no clue what a white person was. Black kids in the township didn’t leave the township. Few people had televisions. They’d seen the white police roll through, but they’d never dealt with a white person face-to-face, ever.

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Nov 9
Brendaly N (Nov 09 2020 11:11AM) : I think it’s funny how they called a 5 yr old child a white man
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Feb 11
Desiree H (Feb 11 2021 9:37AM) : me too and the fact that they ran away from a little boy
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Mar 17
Ziyair D (Mar 17 2021 10:49PM) : . more

facts that’s anything

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Dec 17
Jadon E (Dec 17 2020 12:27PM) : compare and contrast more

The children who lived near Trevor were scared of him. They saw that his color was different and unintentionally discriminated against him like people still do today. The children never really got a grasp of white men so they just automatically took him for one without getting hi input.

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May 23
Mohammed A (May 23 2022 12:59PM) : some africans are lunatic.
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Apr 28
Wesam A (Apr 28 2022 12:32PM) : it was hard growing up like that
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May 23
Mohammed A (May 23 2022 1:01PM) : because they were not taught about western culture in school.
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Nov 12
Paul F (Nov 12 2021 2:29PM) : Paragraph 15, Sentence 10 more

Shows how uneducated black South Africans were at the time, because the government knew that if they were educated they’d rise up against the apartheid system

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May 17
Cristy I (May 17 2022 1:08PM) : .

I’d go to funerals and I’d walk in and the bereaved would look up and see me and they’d stop crying. They’d start whispering. Then they’d wave and say, “Oh!” like they were more shocked by me walking in than by the death of their loved ones. I think people felt like the dead person was more important because a white person had come to the funeral.

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Mar 17
Ziyair D (Mar 17 2021 10:50PM) : . more

I find that crazy like what lol

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Nov 22
Arual D (Nov 22 2021 10:54AM) : Trevor Noah was such a shock to his home town that everywhere he would go, he would be the topic of interest
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Nov 12
Paul F (Nov 12 2021 2:31PM) : Paragraph 16, Sentence 4 more

It’s interesting that they thought of white people as so important, it’s only as if they thought of Trevor as a God (which seems to have gotten to his ego at a young age)

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May 23
Mohammed A (May 23 2022 1:03PM) : this doesn't make sense.

After a funeral, the mourners all go to the house of the surviving family to eat.

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May 23
Mohammed A (May 23 2022 1:04PM) : why do they go to the house of the survivor to eat.
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A hundred people might show up, and you’ve got to feed them. Usually you get a cow and slaughter it and your neighbors come over and help you cook. Neighbors and acquaintances eat outside in the yard and in the street, and the family eats indoors. Every funeral I ever went to, I ate indoors. It didn’t matter if we knew the deceased or not. The family would see me and invite me in. “Awunakuvumela umntana womlungu ame ngaphandle. Yiza naye apha ngaphakathi,” they’d say. “You can’t let the white child stand outside. Bring him in here.”

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Apr 28
Wesam A (Apr 28 2022 12:34PM) : they treated him really differently
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May 23
Mohammed A (May 23 2022 1:04PM) : then they spend a lot of money to do funeral.
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Nov 12
Paul F (Nov 12 2021 2:32PM) : Paragraph 18, Sentence 14 more

Shows Trevor’s tone of amazement and importance that strangers would invite him into their house to eat

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May 23
Mohammed A (May 23 2022 1:05PM) : because africans like to do most of their activities outside.
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Feb 10
Christian M (Feb 10 2021 9:44AM) : everyone really believed that Trevor was white because he was lighter than everyone else.
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As a kid I understood that people were different colors, but in my head white and black and brown were like types of chocolate. Dad was the white chocolate, mom was the dark chocolate, and I was the milk chocolate. But we were all just chocolate. I didn’t know any of it had anything to do with “race.” I didn’t know what race was. My mother never referred to my dad as white or to me as mixed. So when the other kids in Soweto called me “white,” even though I was light brown, I just thought they had their colors mixed up, like they hadn’t learned them properly. “Ah, yes, my friend. You’ve confused aqua with turquoise. I can see how you made that mistake. You’re not the first.”

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Dec 17
Destiny C (Dec 17 2020 4:20PM) : Theme response: Race more

That relates to race because all the other kids would run away from him. The reason that they did that was because they had never seen a mixed person. They did not know how to feel because all the white men there were mean to them.

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Dec 18
Nasira C (Dec 18 2020 9:53AM) : Agreement more

I agree because the other kids probably ran away from him because they never seen a mix person and it is new to them.

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Mar 17
Ziyair D (Mar 17 2021 10:52PM) : . more

yea you right

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Nov 21
Mariam A (Nov 21 2021 3:30PM) : In this paragraph he does a very good job explaining how he views race. His comparison to chocolate was a very good example in my opinion since no matter the color its still chocolate at the end of the day.
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Nov 22
Charles W (Nov 22 2021 10:26PM) : Figurative Language and Tone more

This paragraph utilizes a childish tone and similes to describe the writer’s thoughts of race. The childish tone comes from his comparison of chocolate to race colors and how people can get mixed up with colors. The simile is in the first sentence, where race is described like types of chocolate.

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Feb 10
Raniyah L (Feb 10 2021 2:35PM) : I find this very interesting.. more

I find it very interesting the way he thinks about different colors because there is chocolate (Which is brown, dark chocolate, and white chocolate. So that is very interesting and creative.

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Nov 19
Maya R (Nov 19 2021 11:19AM) : It's interesting because he isn't the only person to say this. Many people refer to themselves as milk chocolate, white chocolate, and dark chocolate.
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Nov 19
Olivia C (Nov 19 2021 1:38PM) : Race more

He didn’t care about color, which is something most children don’t. They see everyone as equal

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Nov 21
Evan N (Nov 21 2021 10:36PM) : Child's Mind more

Regarding a large social issue such as race, the young mind simplifies it. When youre a child, race isn’t and issue, or even a thought. It’s just the way someone is.

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Nov 21
Neve S (Nov 21 2021 11:36PM) : I like the way he uses the idea of chocolate to describe race and show how people are different but equal
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Dec 8
Connor M (Dec 08 2021 9:48AM) : Race more

Most younger kids don’t understand the issues of race, the child mind just sees them as different colors not anything else.

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May 17
Cristy I (May 17 2022 1:10PM) : .
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Dec 17
Quentin W (Dec 17 2020 12:51PM) : Theme Response-Race more

Trevor describes his mixed family as chocolate symbolizing the race of him, his mother, and his father. Trevor calls his father white chocolate and his mother dark chocolate symbolizing their skin colors. and when it came to him he referred to himself as milk chocolate being a mix of both races.

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Dec 18
Damar D. W (Dec 18 2020 10:02AM) : Agreement more

I think this is a more humorous way to talk about race. Not to say race is humourous but the joke itself. I especially agree that this is symbolism – chocolate.

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Dec 18
Quentin W (Dec 18 2020 11:20AM) : Response more

I can agree that humor does play a big role in this statement and I also agree with your opinion that race isn’t funny but the joke itself is.

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Dec 18
Darryl P (Dec 18 2020 11:40AM) : I agree with quentin more

I agree with Quentin because the joke is funny and it shows they have a since of humor.

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May 17
ERNAIDA O (May 17 2022 1:10PM) : it means that they are still the same but with different colors
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May 23
Mohammed A (May 23 2022 1:07PM) : what is race
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Nov 12
Paul F (Nov 12 2021 2:33PM) : Paragraph 19, Sentence 7 more

Shows Trevor’s innocent tone, he thought the neighbors just had their colors mixed up, he didn’t realize the importance of race to his society

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Nov 18
Claire P (Nov 18 2021 11:00AM) : Ignorance of Youth: more

I think that this sentence really speaks out to what he understands to be true now, in relation to what he understood in the past.

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Dec 12
Liam A (Dec 12 2021 7:35PM) : He was too young to understand the entire meaning. However he was still able to see just how isolated he was from a young age. And also the kids always leaned towards calling him white, when he could've gone either way.
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I soon learned that the quickest way to bridge the race gap was through language. Soweto was a melting pot: families from different tribes and homelands. Most kids in the township spoke only their home language, but I learned several languages because I grew up in a house where there was no option but to learn them. My mom made sure English was the first language I spoke. If you’re black in South Africa, speaking English is the one thing that can give you a leg up. English is the language of money. English comprehension is equated with intelligence. If you’re looking for a job, English is the difference between getting the job or staying unemployed. If you’re standing in the dock, English is the difference between getting off with a fine or going to prison.

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Oct 16
Jessica H (Oct 16 2020 9:51AM) : He touches on a lot of the reasons I became a teacher of English. Language is power. It’s one of the superpowers I wish I had; being a polyglot like Trevor Noah.
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Feb 10
Zahir M (Feb 10 2021 2:11PM) : His mom is very smart for teaching him all these languages because they seem really useful in Africa.
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Feb 11
Desiree H (Feb 11 2021 9:40AM) : I think his mom teaching him English was good now he knows many other languages
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Nov 12
Paul F (Nov 12 2021 2:35PM) : Paragraph 20, Sentence 4 more

She knew that if Trevor learned English, he would be able to navigate the real world of South Africa

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May 23
Mohammed A (May 23 2022 1:09PM) : why is English language money in south africa if you know how to speak it.
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May 17
Cristy I (May 17 2022 1:11PM) : .
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After English, Xhosa was what we spoke around the house. When my mother was angry she’d fall back on her home language. As a naughty child, I was well versed in Xhosa threats. They were the first phrases I picked up, mostly for my own safety—phrases like “Ndiza kubetha entloko.” “I’ll knock you upside the head.” Or “Sidenge ndini somntwana.” “You idiot of a child.” It’s a very passionate language. Outside of that, my mother picked up different languages here and there. She learned Zulu because it’s similar to Xhosa. She spoke German because of my father. She spoke Afrikaans because it is useful to know the language of your oppressor. Sotho she learned in the streets.

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