As human beings, we tend to not understand that what we see or hear about social media, television, books, etc. can guide us towards this one piece of the puzzle. Not knowing the rest of the puzzle creates the assumption of a single story. In her TED talk, Chimamanda Adichie has spoken about the dangers of only knowing a story which leads to stereotyping. By this being said, to what extent do we as a society form a single story about others? To answer this question, there is a great extent when people create their single stories about others because we make these single stories without even realizing it. Chimamanda is a mere example, a representative of how our society thinks and is treated when making a single
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel, Americanah, tells the story of two young Nigerians who wish to leave their military-ruled country for America. While the novel tells both characters’ stories, I will focus on the beginning of Ifemelu’s, the young woman who moves to the United States. The themes of assimilation and race are topics I gravitated towards in undergrad and the novel has reminded me how important these works are, especially as a white American. Seeing America through someone else’s eyes is important and Ifemelu’s story is interesting, gripping for those who have experienced something similar or not. Having said this, the writer’s techniques could have been overseen if I wasn’t a student on the lookout. However, Adichie’s unique, descriptive language is immediately apparent. Throughout Americanah, the way Adichie’s descriptions are used with mostly simile, hyperbole and personification vary. In
In July 2009, at a TED conference, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian author, gave a stunning speech about “the Danger of a Single Story”. In her speech, she mentioned about negative consequences happening when people tend to form stereotypes based on a single story, the one-sided argument. The single story blindfolds our eyes and prevents us from seeing the complexity, diversity, and similarities that construct our world, just as Adichie says “these negative stories is to flatten my experience and overlook the many other stories that formed me” (12:56). Listening to all her own personal experience and argument, I have become fully convinced and also see myself reflected in her stories. The single story can cause underlying and harmful impacts not only on personal issues but also on the global scale.
Stereotypes of people, places, or things leave a large gap between the truth and what is known as the truth. In the speech "The Danger of a Single Story" by Chimamanda Adichie, Adichie explains the dangers and importance of single stories. The use of her past experiences as evidence to explain the damage these stories can cause, both to the listener and the person, place, and/or topic of the stories gives power to her speech. The author’s
To my family we always saw the inequality, it was a part of our daily lives and we had to deal with it as best as we could. The inequality was always an inconvenience, a part of my daily life that had less resources, stricter rules, less to no privileges, which made no sense to me where in the country we live in is supposedly free and equal for everyone. Growing up we always had to be careful around cops and made sure that we come fully prepared with papers to any meeting foe healthcare, or government benefits because weren’t given the benefit of the doubt. A prime example for the inequalities my family went through was extra processes for car insurance, dental care, and medical care. We always had to make sure to dot our I’s and cross our T’s or else it could be taken away in an instant. It just didn’t affect my family but my community as well. Having a community of Hispanics and African Americans we had to make sure not to make too much noise during parties or in an instant we would have cops on our blocks. These kinds of small things snowball into such a massive effect and influence our tremendously to the point where we think it’s “just another day” and not an attack against our
Throughout the history of the United States, multitudes of social issues arise, fall, and repeat. In the modern day United States, many social issues are currently at hand including abortion, gender pay differences, the minimum wage, gun violence, police brutality, and seemingly excessive college tuition raises, to name a few. One issue that has been brought back to light within the last few years is racism. Many different headlines, buzzwords, and slogans shoot through media outlets including “Systematic Racism” (Bandler, 2016), “Black Lives Matter” (Black Lives Matter, n.d.), “Institutional Racism” (Michaelson, 2015), the list goes on. Many millennials and middle-aged workers are crying out in support and against these claims, calling this a social problem in an effort to show abnormality in the status quo (Davis-Sowers, 2016), as this condition has negative attributes related to individuals or the world that they live in (Leon-Guerrero).
In the current macro state of the united states what stands out as a conflict in society to me is the hatred people have for the Black lives matter movement and the action that Colin Kaepernick started by taking a knee during the National Anthem that many players are doing more so know. Due to the unjustly killing caused by the criminal justice system, this social structure has a high percentage of the African American community feel like they’re afraid for their lives. This makes me think people that don’t understand or even hate the black lives matter movement don’t understand the impact sociological imagination has in what’s going on. The group in power and their followers lack the ability to have empathy for what the oppressed African American
In Adichie’s remarks, she explains the effects of single stories through forms of racism. While racism is a huge issue, I wanted to bring in a different example of when single stories were used in my life. These were connected with my religion and the religion of others.
When we look at aspects of american society like the differences of treatment to the different genders and social classes, while there is need for improvement, it is getting better. A lot of people are noticing this and willing to do something make it so that it can continue to do so.
The Ted talk on “The Danger of the Single Story” spoken by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a powerful talk about how viewing a culture as just one thing can rob people’s dignity. I have listened to this talk before and have realized having this single story of a culture can raise stereotypes of that specific culture. The person behind the single story may not necessarily realize that they are creating a single story, but when they realize they have, they feel ashamed. She gave an example of herself having a single story of her houseboy, Fide’s family. Fide’s family was poor, and she felt pity for his family, and only thought of him as poor.
Chimamanda Adichie, discusses the dangerous misunderstanding that can be created by only exposing children/individuals to one story. We want our student to be proud of their diversity and difference. To make each classroom and our school environment more inclusive our staff assures that we provide curricular “mirrors” so that students can see themselves in classroom materials (e.g. text material, media displays, posters, etc.) and create a space for students to share narratives about their lives and hear or read narrative about the lives of others. Finally, we hold all students to high expectations in all aspects of their
The second issue that I care deeply about relates to institutionalized racism. Our colorblind thinking has led us to believe we live in a perfect society, where racism no longer exists. While we’ve rid our country of “separate but equal” agendas, racism is still built into the systems we encounter everyday – schools, government, law enforcement, and jails.
In the Ted Talk, “The Danger of a Single Story”, Chimamanda Adichie talks about the dangers of a single story. She says that the problem with single stories is that they create a stereotype for people. She also says, “They rob people of their dignity and emphasize how we are different rather than our similarities.” She also says that if you only hear a single story about a person or country then, we risk a critical misunderstanding. After watching this Ted Talk I realize that the main problem and danger with single stories is that they create a stereotype for something or someone.
There are four central elements that are prevalent in all forms of oppression, each of these elements are complimentary of one another and helps perpetuate the existence of oppression. (Pharr, 1988). Invisibility of the oppressed group occurs when those in power omit or distort the past and current accomplishments of the oppressed group. This practice of invisibility occurs through television, movies, and educational books which omit or rewrite historical actions and achievements of minority groups. This reinforces the idea the societal norm is the majority, and those who do not fall within this category are nonexistent, or have not made any positive contributions to society. While members of the LGBT community have become more visible in
From the TED Talk video “The Danger of a Single Story,” I think that the speaker Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wanted to tell us that we need to read more and know different stories about one place because there are more than one story exist. We should not judge other without knowing themselves. Furthermore, she said that we should not easily believe everything we heard from media because they only give us one impression. I especially felt close to her when she described how she felt after she realized her American roommate teetered her as African not Nigerian. (4:13) Moreover, she had only a single story about Africa. (4:49) Those paragraph remind me when I was in college in New York, my American classmates did not know the differences between Japanese and Chinese or