As a child in Nigeria, the internationally renowned author Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie was a voracious reader. One day, she realized that most of the children in the books she read were blond, blue-eyed, and played in the snow on Christmas Day, and wondered where were the books that featured children who looked like her? Years later, as a student at a prestigious American university, Adichie felt shocked and diminished by other students’ narrow perceptions of her native country, and while traveling in Mexico, Adichie was embarrassed to discover her own single story about the Mexican people. In this expressive and moving talk, Adichie discusses the dangers that arise from the unquestioned and unexamined single stories we unconsciously narrate about ourselves and each other.
Let’s discuss the single stories we have heard about ourselves and with a bit of courage and honesty, examine those we harbor about others.