Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ,The Danger of a Single Story.” Ted Talk

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apple-256263_960_720Finding stories that show the complexity of life on the African continent takes some time and effort due to the overwhelming media focus on tragedy there. However, as scholars and teachers, we are obligated to do this work. This consideration includes our use of Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart (1958) as the primary voice of African literature in the classroom. A monolith of its own now, the novel and its main character, Okonkwo, speak only for a specific clan in a specific ethnic group—Igbo—in a specific nation—Nigeria. When we teach this novel as “The African Novel,” we reify the notion that the African continent has one essential story, a story that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reminds us is limiting in her TED Talk, “The Danger of a Single Story.” And if we do not teach any other works by writers from Africa or the African diaspora, we convey to students that there is only one storyteller and thereby silence an entire

 

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