Posted by: Dr. Y. | July 5, 2013

The Danger of a Single Story

Chimamanda Adichie (Source: interviewmagazine.com)

Chimamanda Adichie (Source: interviewmagazine.com)

Today, we will examine ‘The Danger of a Single Story,’ a speech given by the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference.  Like Adichie, I have always felt annoyed by people referring to Africa as a country.  I have also been annoyed by people’s ‘single story’ of Africans.  Just like the author I was guilty of some stereotypes myself.  Growing up in Africa, we often watched documentaries about life in America, and how there was a gun shot death every 13 seconds in the streets of America.  I used to think, “how on earth could people live in a country where there were so many gunshot deaths, drugs, and gangs?” Until I realized that, that was a single story of America, and there were other stories like those of scientific achievements, of Ivy league schools, etc.  So why can’t they, Americans, and others, learn to have other stories of Africa?

This blog is about offering other stories of Africa other than ‘the single story.’  What kind of ‘single stories’ of Africa have you heard?  What stories of Africa would you like to hear?


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