African Voices Challenge the ‘Single Story’

Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-Chief
Last Modified: 13:20 PM EDT, 15 January 2012

The Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaks about the traditions of a single story framed by prejudice, stereotypes, and misinformation. The author of “Half of a Yellow Sun” (2006), she has several other notable books, short stories, plays and poem anthologies under her belt.

Raised in a middle class home with domestic help, Chimamanda related how as a child she viewed the help as being “poor” and equated that with a plethora of negative assumptions. It was only after she came to American and was subjected to “flat” perceptions of Africa and Africans, that she was able to recognize the ubiquity of preconceived notions.

Chimamanda eloquently addresses the hard topics of racism and classism through the nuanced language and concept of the “single story.” At every juncture she rebukes herself before taking the public to task, yet manages to keep the audience engaged as she chastens them.  Her words and thoughts on this issue are far more powerful than any opinion written about her, thus, I encourage you to listen to the author speak in the video below.

To learn more about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie check out the bibliography and links below.   Watch her speak on Ted TV here.


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About Ayanna Nahmias

Ayanna Nahmias was interviewed on Radio Netherlands Worldwide program titled 'The State We’re In,' about her life in Africa and her determination to transcend her past. She started the Nahmias Cipher Report to provide information to readers about life in emerging economies, and to provide alternative insight into the challenges faced by women and children living in these countries. The blog features stories from around the world to inspire other people to persevere and triumph in the face of great adversity. She blogs about current events in emerging economies, international politics, human rights abuses, women’s rights and child advocacy.

View all posts by Ayanna Nahmias


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