The danger of a single story – a Ted Talk
This video had a strong impact on me. I have come to realize that in the last couple years of reading, I have barely reached out to novels or non-fiction written by a voice from a different culture than mine, not intentionally, but it was a jarring realization all the same.
It was this that she said that has inspired me to change my reading habits:
“Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person. The Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti writes that if you want to dispossess a people, the simplest way to do it is to tell their story and to start with, “secondly.” Start the story with the arrows of the Native Americans, and not with the arrival of the British, and you have an entirely different story. Start the story with the failure of the African state, and not with the colonial creation of the African state, and you have an entirely different story.”
“Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.”