If you have happened to click on this article, I ask that you take 20 minutes out of your day to watch this TED Talk titled "The Danger of a Single Story", presented by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
In this TED talk presented by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the ideas of the danger of a single story are presented. A native Nigerian, Adichie speaks out on how only one perspective defining something takes away human equality and dignity. This is how stereotypes form. If it is realized that all things are more complex than one story, and if all perspectives of one place or person were defining characteristics, then humanity could realize how alike all humans are, rather than different. “Paradise” could be restored.
How did this video make you feel? This TED talk had a profound effect on me. I am now ashamed to admit that I often buy into the single story of a people or place if I have no personal experience of it. In my mind, before this TED talk I had viewed Africa much like Adichie’s roommate had, as well as how Mexico is spoken of. Adichie does an excellent job on explaining how everything, all places and all people, are more complex than just one single story. I am, and so are you. Many of us fall victim to viewing other places and people as how they are presented to us, instead of digging deeper for all of the pieces to the puzzle. As Adichie says, this takes away the dignity from human experience. I gained from this TED talk the thought that everyone in the world is living their own complex life with similar thought and emotional processes, just with different cultures and living conditions. This thought makes the world feel so much more real to me.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie spins a beautiful multi-faceted story on how one perspective, story, or stereotype takes away human experience and equality. We are all alike, just in different ways. We are all human.