Adichie’s speech

I am really moved by Adichie’s speech. In a very simple, well-organized speech with a healthy dose of humor, she expresses her feelings regarding stereotypes that all of us are prone to. She touches some other themes such as poverty, racism, and dignity but in a very sharp, inoffensive way. One of her powerful quotes that I particularly like is “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” This could not be truer! The real issue here is that we are so quick to judge others based on very little information provided (sometimes not even any but based on someone’s physical appearance only; be it a skin color, big nose, height or weight). If we only were willing to invest some time and learn more about each other, a lot of tragedies or at least hurt feeling would be prevented.
While I was listening to her speech, I felt embarrassed. I was grateful that no one was next to me to see me turning red ashamed of my own ignorance. Just like the roommate she talks about in her speech, I associate Nigeria with poverty, people dying either from AIDS or starvation. Why? Partially because of my exposure to what she calls “ a single story” and that’s what we hear about most of the time but also because of my own ignorance and failure to find out the other stories and get a more complete picture.

 

Being a foreigner in America, I felt the strength of human bias on my own skin and therefore, I can identify with Adichie. Coming from what the Americans refer to as one of the “second world countries,” I’ve been often asked ridiculous questions such as if we watch TV in Serbia…

 

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One response to “Adichie’s speech

  1. My favorite part of this response–all of which I love–is your embarrassment. Of course, I’m not happy that you’re embarrassed, but it indicates your open mind and humility. I, too, can relate to this response. Every time I see the video, it’s a reminder for me. Great job!

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