The Danger of the Single Story, by Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie
Today I listened to Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie, caution others about the dangers of telling a single story. For Chimamanda Adichie, the danger of telling single story about a place called ‘Africa’ is that the single story becomes the definitive story for all the people of Africa. The danger is that different versions of the single story are told over and over again, so that the single story creates a stereotype of all Africans. This stereotype, whilst not untrue, is also not complete.
Chimamanda Adichie cautions that the single story is given greater power than any other story and by telling only this story, many voices with different stories are silenced. She feels that the single story of Africa comes from Western Literature, which whilst well-meaning, is also patronising and misguiding. What is needed is for Westerners to reject the single story and embrace the concept that many stories matter.