Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story

In this extraordinary talk for TED [Technology, Entertainment, Design: Ideas worth spreading], Nigerian storyteller and writer Chimamanda Adichie begins: “I’m a storyteller. And I would like to tell you a few personal stories about what I like to call ‘the danger of a single story’.”

Though most of the faces around her childhood home matched her own, the characters in the books she wrote and the stories she wrote were white and blue-eyed and lived in cultures she had never experienced. When she went to the U.S. as a university student, she learned that her roommate had a single story about Africa, a tribal story that had nothing to do with Adichie’s middle-class upbringing.

She says, “Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person.”

This is an important and thought-provoking talk. Take twenty minutes to watch it.

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