Based on theme two, they reconstructed the myths about whites and blacks. They began to explain the concept of “If they gain, we lose”. There was a concern of the participants having and not having and about sharing privilege but not wanting to give it up (McIntyre, 57). McIntyre explains that there are always exceptions to the rule and it reconstructs the myth of “equal opportunity for all”.
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
Practically everyone in the story has a hidden agenda for his or her actions. The protagonist, a 22-year-old named Helga, was a teacher at an institute of higher learning called Naxos where the true agenda was not education but instead was teaching Blacks their accepted status in life—lower than that of Whites. She became convinced that she needed to leave Naxos after hearing a speech from a visiting white preacher whose remarks she found offensive. The preacher stated that if everyone acted like those from Naxos “there would be no race problem, because Naxos Negros knew what was expected of them” because they “knew enough to stay in their places” (Larsen 1724). At the beginning of the story, the reader would feel sympathy towards the workers at Naxos, who truly believed they were preparing the students for better lives and sympathy for Helga who tried to convince the new principle, Dr. Anderson, as to the true state of affairs. Helga failed to realize, however, that Dr. Anderson was aware of the situation at Naxos but felt that for change to occur there needed to be “more people like you, people with a sense of values, and proportion, an appreciation of the rarer things of life” (Larsen 1735). Helga mistakenly became offended at Dr. Anderson’s compliment by calling her “a lady” with “dignity and breeding” because of her belief that being able to trace one’s ancestry was more important that one’s actions (Larsen 1735).
During the Ted talk video, I realized that the single stories we carry can be harmful as they often lead us to make inaccurate conclusions resulting in stereotyping. In the video, Adichie explains how her roommate
The controversy surrounding race and racism has continued prosperous for years and will continue for years to come. However, racism has deeper implications than what appears on the surface. As shown in the literary works below, misrepresentation of minority populations and unfair judgment due to popular stereotypes instigate racism that can lead to conflicts in identity.
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.
A single stories’ “power is the ability not to just tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person” found in the speech “The Danger of a Single Story” by Chimamanda Adichie. Adichie tells of single stories she has witnessed against others and herself throughout her life, being from Nigeria, coming to a university in America, and traveling throughout her life. Brent Staples’ personal essay “Just Walk on By” provide examples from his own personal experience, of single stories that have been raised against him as an African-American male. Both express how believing in only things heard can demolish truths that have not yet been proven. Single stories may cause not only empowerment, but also a negative stigma to a person, group, or a place. There are many possible dangers that come along with a single story pertaining to the start or continuation of a story heard as well as the act of believing in it. Everyone has been in the same place as Adichie and Staples; been a victim or believed in the oppressors
Systematic racism continues to perpetuate the marginalization of people of color in the 21st century despite belief of living in a post racial society. This unfortunate reality is seen in many different forms of current culture. One of the ways systematic racism takes current form, is in the negative portrayal created by a single narrative, or the lack thereof, minority groups. This lack of representation or diversity of people of color in different forms of art and platforms, not only affects those subject to misrepresentation, but perpetuates negative attitudes and discriminatory behavior towards those subject to misrepresentation. It is necessary to look into the ways this single narrative in different art forms affects marginalized group, and the current move to dismantle the component power plays in who gets to tell these stories.
By observing this theory, readers can understand that the oppression and stereotypes that face African American women are mostly learned through communication. For instance, the idea that women should take care of a child are exchanged through conversation like: “When you will be old, you will have children,” or just the fact that often parents will buy baby doll for their girl suggesting that one day she will have a to take care of a baby. For African American people, they can learn through conversation a lot of stereotypes about the African American (new racism discourse). For example, someone will ask “where are you from,” while this person is born in America, but because he has darker skin color, people through communication makes them feel like they are “different” physically. So, trough interactions, this person will associate their identity with the conversation they had and the social stereotypes they learned.
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.
Connor opted to use a narrative as a means of expression since most people understand issues better when they are conveyed as a narrated story. Michael, the participant researcher, narrates the discrimination he went through during his time in school. Being a student with a learning disability, he was segregated from the other “normal” students, and they always taunted him because of his condition. The fact that he is black, physically challenged and comes from a working class background makes him feel less entitled to receiving a decent college education (Connor, 2006). His situation that even in the education sector, the playing field is not fair as far as minority groups are concerned.
Life is not always easy as we think, each and every one had a bad experience in your life that teaches you a lesson for us in order to win the journey of our life. In the essay, "Graduation", Maya Angelou states about the unfair treatment of whites against the African Americans during the graduation. There are situations in life where we feel discriminated but no matter what we have to gain the strength to prosper.
In her 2009 TED talks presentation,” The Danger of a Single Story,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie explains how a single story presented by the media and books can affect the way a person may perceive others, places, and cultures (Adichie). She goes into details explaining her point through personal experiences where she falsely misunderstood someone based on a single word she heard numerously, and how she was a victim of a common stereotype. According to Adichie, there is never a single story and that people can go through a mental shift of their perspective if they considered various alternatives that differ from the same story that is commonly told.
Prejudice, discrimination, or opposition against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s race is superior is called racism. In stories “Finishing School” by Maya Angelou and “What’s in a Name?” by Henry Louis Gates Jr. racism is revealed by the main characters who showed similarities and differences within the time. Racism is portrayed in “Finishing School” and “What’s in a Name?” through the setting, circumstances, and characters reactions.
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