For this project I watched two TED Talks, The Danger of a Single Story and Imaginary Friends and Real-World Consequences. I chose to write about The Danger of a Single Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie because I loved learning about how stories were so different to her, as I grew up with stories about people who were just like me (white with blue eyes, who ate apples and talked about the sun coming out, as Chimamanda says).
Her talk blew me away because she showed the danger of hearing something from one point of view in a very real, very scary way. Chimamanda describes her experience coming to the United States and being treated and seen as ‘the African’ and what that meant for so many people who had only heard one flawed, vague rendition for all of Africa.
This video really hit deeply for me as well because it reminded me about the Images of Africa class that I took the first semester of my freshman year (I am about to graduate as a senior this semester). It was all about how we view Africa through one lens, some even referring to it as a country and not a continent, and that the people who live there are therefore fighting an upwards battle just to show that we are the ones who are mistaken because the literature doesn’t share their reality correctly to the rest of the world.
She drove the talk home by sharing how she would never believe only one story about Americans because she has seen so many different representations of Americans through different stories: why would only one represent everyone? However, whenever all of the media or shared stories focus on the same thing, like ‘Africans being poor’ or ‘Mexicans being illegal immigrants’, we are tainted towards an inaccurate impression and we start to believe it.
I really loved watching this video. It gave me a lot to think about and inspired me to remember and work towards being careful where my sources came from and if they are showing everything that they could – just like I truly learned freshman year. What great timing for this video.