The Danger of a Single Story


A little required viewing in advance of my Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie doubleheader: this charming and insightful TED talk by the author about the need for variety in reading and storytelling. I discovered this talk while fact-checking a quote at work and was intrigued to learn that its ambassador citation–“stories matter”–was a vague, albeit agreeable, misrepresentation of Adichie’s finely focused message about the value of representing and receiving diverse experiences. “Many stories matter,” a truer summarization, doesn’t just extol the power of stories as if power were some inert yet positive force, it examines how easily that power is misused when a single narrative is allowed to monolopize our imaginations.



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