18 September 2018
Stories are Not Always Right
“When we reject a single story, when we realize that there is never a single story about
any place, we regain a kind of paradise”. Expand your mind and remember, there is never a
single story about a person or culture. When we realize that there is novel, a single story about
any place. We regain a kind of paradise. “The Danger of a Single Story” is a 2009 TED talk by
Chimamanda Adichie. Adichie, a young, dark-skinned woman that grew up in Nigeria, talks
about how British books and stories made a powerful impact on her. Adichie agues that racism
and stereotyping can influence a person’s outlook if they know only specific facts about a group.
People should consider the various perspectives of different cultures around the world. This will
better increase their understanding of global diversity.
Stories that people tell are not always correct. They typically do not uncover all of the
details within a particular story or occurrence. Adichie started her story by talking about where
she grew up and how smart she felt, as she was an early reader and writer. She also briefly
touched on the differences between growing up in Nigeria in comparison to the British life style.
She argues that racism and stereotyping can influence a person if they only know one story about
a group. For example, when she visited Mexico from the US, she heard that Mexicans were
immigrants, whom lived in difficult communities, and lived impoverished lives. However, upon
visiting, she saw that things were entirely different from what she had heard and previously
believed. This example shows that the stories we hear about a person or groups of people can be
untrue, and also incomplete. In addition, this example shows how one story can become the only
story. She often utilized humor to get the audience’s attention and to not make them feel bored of
the speech. This was necessary, as her talk as she discussed many serious, personal stories that
had happened in her life. Her purpose was to let people understand that the single story is not
always necessarily the right story and that other perspectives may surprise people in the end.
The author showed emotion through real life examples. For example, she talked about her
first visit to Mexico and how it made her feel ashamed because of the lies she heard from the
media, as she said, “I remember first feeling slight surprise, and then I was overwhelmed with
shame”. (Para. 18). People should look at different sources to understand the truth. When a
person tells a story about something it should include both sides, the negative and the positive.
Adichie discussed an additional emotional story about her friend. She stated, “One of my closet
friends, Okolona, died in a plane crash because our firetrucks did not have water” (Para. 23). She
expressed her sadness when she recollected this story and how they didn’t give any help. Adichie
also told another personal story about her childhood. She said, “I had very happy, childhood, full
of laughter and love, in a very close-knit family”. (Para. 21). Good childhood memories can give
an individual the power to do good thing in the future. One’s childhood does not determine,
however, the success of their future.
I agree with Chimamanda Ngozi’s perspective: that a single story does not always give a
Full idea, people should not always believe what they have been heard because it’s could be
wrong. I do believe that racism and stereotyping exist all around the world. Personally, coming
from the Middle East, I do buy into her story, because of the way people look and judge each
other. Her explanation of stereotypes and racism fit perfectly into my opinions on stereotypes
and racism. Although her story fits every single person in this planet. It is not limited to black
people only. For example, I have had different thoughts and beliefs about people in the United
States. The U.S. has religious freedom and tolerance, whereas many Middle Eastern countries do
not. It also has freedom of speech, dress, and life style, unlike the Islamic culture: my culture.
What I have learned is that when we acknowledge our racism we can start to deal with it and
overcome our feelings of fear and hatred. Before we judge and stereotype, we should all
remember that we are a part of the same race, the human race.
Additionally, I agree because my other example goes along with Adichie’s story, as her
roommate got shocked how she spoke English very well. In my opinion, Americans don’t
believe that people in the Middle East know how to speak English. I believe this because when it
was my first year in the United State, I started going to college, and in my first semester I had
students ask me how I spoke English and how I did so well in my classes. My classmates were
surprised when I told them I had only been in the U.S. for a year. I had to explain to them that in
the Middle East people do know how to speak English because students are taught English in
school from the first grade. Student, hence, get to learn how to speak, read and write English.
In conclusion, stereotypes and racism are developed when we don’t have a bigger picture
and rely on a single story. Stereotypes and racism also result from our reliance on what our
parents and cultures teach us. People’s interference with our minds that is someone we know
who is a certain race and behaves differently as such, than all other people of the same race do as
well. Stereotypes and racism strip the dignity of people away, in an attempt to explain an entire
race in a single concept. Therefore, people should avoid stereotypes and racism, and attempt to
have more than one single story.
Adichie, Chimamanda “The Danger of a Single story” TED.com July 2009,
=en&utm_campaign=tedspread-sharetradeb&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare, Accessed on 13 September, 2018
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