Born a Crime Quotes with Page Numbers

The genius of apartheid was convincing people who were the overwhelming majority to turn on each other (p. 3).

The infected-country detective story (p. 5).

A man who would wrestle and riot and roar for what he believed in (p. 7).

When you don’t know yourself, the motto is: ‘Better you hear about people than they hear about you’ (p. 9).

Language, even more than color, defines who you are to people (p. 11).

In a truly free country, we would be free to marry and fuck whoever we want regardless of color or creed (p. 13).

It’s hard to be something you’re not (p. 15).

My white friends were on one side, my black friends on the other, and I was left in the middle as the referee (p. 17).

Children of mixed race, the president and my mother told me, were like little zebras (p. 19).

But when you’re telling your own story, you have to realize that you are more than just yourself (p. 21).

Only later would I learn that she had never wanted to give me away but had been forced to by apartheid (p. 24).

If my mother was anything, she was my protector. She protected me like nobody’s business. She made everything that was wrong right (p. 26).

Stories are a communal currency of humanity (p. 28).

Success in life was always about project management (p. 30).

That’s how it was when you grew up in a house with a mother who spoke eleven languages (p. 32).

I had learned quickly that the strongest person in the room is the one who the room looks to for guidance (p. 35).

The essence of the culture here is the sharing of information (p. 37).

You do something for me, I do something for you. It’s a culture of sharing (p. 39).

In that one moment, my mother taught me the power of language (p. 42).

People laughed, people cried, people shrieked. People fell silent. People danced (p. 45).

We weren’t just new to the game, we were playing a completely different sport (p. 49).

One’s appearance was the first filter: white or black (p. 52).

There is nothing more dangerous than someone who believes in something unconditionally (p. 55).

I became a chameleon. My color didn’t change, but I could change your perception of my color (p. 58).

The hood teaches you that, above all, you protect your own people (p. 60).

The only time I could be with them was indoors, and even then if I was with them, we had to speak in whispers (p. 63).

You have to be sick in the head when you love someone deeply enough that their pain feels like possession (p. 66).

My grandmother believed that the effects of education were pronounced in the way you spoke (p. 69).

The world could be either a dangerous place or a place of opportunity (p. 72).

My father believed in something, so he stood for something, and that meant a lot to me (p. 75).

It amazed me that my father has been to places I can barely pronounce (p. 78).

Church was a matter of routine more than spirituality (p. 81).

What she was free about was sex (p. 84).

Women are taught from the day they’re born that their life’s purpose is their duty as mothers (p. 87).

When you hit rock bottom, it’s pretty solid ground (p. 90).

The gift of learning was something that gave you the power to do something about your life (p. 93).

A man was a man only if you let him be (p. 96).

Fatherhood is a choice you make every day (p. 99).

Her thinking was simple: If you hit a woman, then you are not a man (p. 102).

A man’s true character comes out when he’s drunk (p. 105).

My mother showed me what could be achieved with a positive outlook, hard work, and determination (p. 108).

You have to live in a society to understand it (p. 111).

Mandela set us free, but now it was up to us to fulfill that freedom (p. 114).

We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine (p. 117).

Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s control (p. 120). Note: Page numbers may vary depending on the edition of the book.

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