One thing that I enjoyed about watching this TedTalk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is how she starts off by saying, “I am a story teller” Luckily for me I was already familiar with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. For one, Beyoncé sampled a speech by her in her song “Flawless”. Her input in that song is perfect. And secondly, in my Creative Writing class, we have actually read a couple of stories written by her. They were all amazing because of the way she conveys a story. In her writings, the same things she discusses in her TedTalk, were revealed. Like she says, she wrote about what was familiar to her. And I think because of her experiences and her ability to share stories, she freed herself from that single story life style.
When I try to connect the idea of having a single story with my life, I think about certain things growing, basically stereotypes that I have learned about. I think the one thing I can think about is like, stereotypes based on me. I think people have single story of not me, but African Americans or black people in general. Just the same, how there are stereotypes about White Americans., etc. I have mentioned before how for the most part I feel as though I didn’t get the typical response of “all black people are loud, ghetto, etc.” For me it was true that people had this mind framed, but they viewed me as the opposite of that stereotype. These people still had that single story mind set.
Honestly growing up, I wasn’t instilled with different stereotypes about people and races or different places that I can say I shaped into a single story. And as I continued to grow, I took the time to understand more about the differences in people so that I wouldn’t be prejudice or as I am learning, a single story mind set. And just like Chimamanda Ngozi says, the stories we hear aren’t necessarily false, they are just incomplete. There is always more than one story to DEFINE someone. And I like how Chimamanda explains this and reveals this with her own experiences. One thing that Chimamanda Ngozi said that stuck out to me however was this:
“All I have heard about them was how poor they were, so that it had come impossible for me see them as anything else but poor…so poverty was my single story of them”
Below is the link to a prose poem by Chimamanda Ngozi if you want to read it! And it definitely goes along with the theme of "single stories".
My mother, the Crazy African