Trevor Noah - Coming Home to the Motherland

Trevor Noah: African American Season 1, Ep 1 02/27/2016 Views: 1,818

Trevor Noah talks about an encounter with a man who was confused about his heritage and ponders the United States' inaccurate labels for different races. (3:09)

I've been doing shows around thecountry.

Around the world really.

I've been blessed.

And I rememberone day I'm in L.A.

and I'm doing a show andwe're sitting backstage

and this comedian comes into the backstage area

and he's got a list of allthe guys that are performing.

And so, he looks aroundand he looks at the

darkest guy in the corner,just the blackest guy

he could find.

And he goes

[comedically]hey, yo.

You the dude from Africa?


And the guy looksup and he's like

[comedically]nah man, I'm from Detroit.


He's like

[comedically]a'ight, my bad.

My bad.

My bad.

Uh, a'ight, uh, yo.

OK, Detroit.

Yeah, yeah.

You--oh, a'ight, OK cool.


OK, cool.



[normal speaking voice]And then he looks at me

for a second, does aquick calculation.

And he's like oh, a'ight,a'ight, um, yeah.


And then helooks and he goes

[comedically]yo, where you from man?

[normal voice] I saidI'm from South Africa.

He's like

[comedically]oh, oh, oh.

You the dude?


Oh damn, man.



Yo, I didn't evenknow they got--yo,

you the dude from Africa?


Man, didn'teven know they got

light-skinned [bleep]out there, man.






That's themotherland, man.

That's the motherland.

[normal voice] And all ofa sudden he just started

giving me this speech.

He's like

[comedically] man, you know,yo man, that's--yo man,

that's where wegotta be, man.

That's, you know--


--that's the motherlandout there, man.


I gots to getout there, man.

I gots to.

Yo, I gots togo home, man.


You heard?

I gots to go home.

Man, you tell them.


You tell 'em.

You tell them I'mcoming home, a'ight?


[normal speaking voice]And I was like

[laughs] we're not waiting.


' Cause I'm just--I'm fascinate--I think

that's come--that whole identity has come

from the term African-American .

This is something that'sfascinated me.

You know, it's thevery loose term.


'Cause half of the timeyou use it for people that

aren't even African.

You know?

Just use it longas you're black.

They go African-American.

But it's--what if peoplearen't from Africa?

They stillAfrican-American?

Those people from the Caribbean,from Haiti, from Jamaica.

You know?

They call--

[comedically] yeah,African-America.

Guys like

[Jamaican accent] no man,I come from Jamaica.

I no' from Africa.


I ain't neverbeen there 'fore, man.

[comedically] He'slike you wanna stay?

[Jamaican accent]African-American, man.


[laughter, applause]

[normal voice] The prefixto American has become as

important as American itself.

I thought it was justAmerican but it's not.

No, no, no.

It's very importantyou have the prefix.

You know, you haveAfrican-American.


You have otherslike Latin-

or Mexican-American.

You have Asian-American.

You have--the mostinteresting for me was

Indian-American which I learnedabout during Thanksgiving.


And then I was told I'm nolonger allowed to say this.

Said I now have tosay Native American.

Which is redundant,is it not?


Because if somebody'sa native of the land

they're still in shouldyou not then just

call them American?


How does that work?

[laughter continues,applause]