Opportunity, Collaboration & Discovery

Stories Matter: The Danger of a Single Story

CJ Westerberg, March 8, 2012 6:14 PM


Editor's Note: Today is International Women's Day.  What better way to celebrate it than to share the story of a Chimamanda Adichie, revealed as one of the two top "crowd favs" at TED 2012, according to a recent Melinda Gates' tweet from her own twitter "poll."  While parents and educators may be thrilled that our K-12 students are learning more about Africa than just being a  "country with some amazing animals" and horrific events, there is another story.
Check out video below!    -C.J. Westerberg


Stories Matter
Many Stories Matter
The Danger of a Single Story

"The consequence of the single story is this:
It robs people of dignity . . .
It emphasizes how we are different
rather than how we are similar."

Chimamanda Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story

 "If I had not grown up in Nigeria, and if all I knew about Africa were from popular images, I too would think that Africa was a place of beautiful landscapes, beautiful animals, and incomprehensible people, fighting senseless wars, dying of poverty and AIDS, unable to speak for themselves and waiting to be saved by a kind, white foreigner."

"It is impossible to talk about the single story without talking about power.  There is a word, an Igbo word, that I think about whenever I think about the power structures of the world, and it is
"nkali."  It's a noun that loosely translates to "to be greater than another."  Like our economic and political worlds, stories too are defined by the principle of nkali:  How they are told, who tells them, when they're told, how many stories are told, are really dependent on power."

"Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign,
but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. 
Stories can break the dignity of a people,
but stories can also repair that broken dignity."

TED Video Below

 International Women's Day: Ten Ways to Celebrate via The Washington Post

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It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
Leonardo da Vinci
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