Chimamanda Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story” is my all-time favorite Ted Talk. As a middle class Nigerian whose professor once told her that her stories were not “authentically African” because the characters weren’t poor and starving, she shares with honesty and humor the stereotypes she had to overcome to be published in the United States. She concludes
The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete….I’ve always felt that it is impossible to engage properly with a place or a person without engaging with all of the stories of that place and that person. The consequence of the single story is this: It robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar.
Because I have admired Adichie for so long, I felt I’d been kicked in the gut when I got to Chapter 38 of her latest novel, Americanah. Continue reading Adichie’s Single Story of West Virginia?