Black History Month: How Dangerous is the Single Story?

Katie Tyler

12th October 2022

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie eloquently discusses the danger of the single story narrative and how problematic stereotypes can end up only telling parts of a person’s or country’s story.

This month is Black History Month and, as sociology teachers, we know the importance of embedding true representation into the curriculum.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discusses the danger of hearing and digesting a one-sided narrative of Nigeria: one of poverty and despair. This can lead to critical assumptions about Nigerians and Nigeria or create a misplaced reaction of pity. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie argues that it is important to hear a range of authentic voices, otherwise continuous dangerous stereotypes will be reproduced. In essence, we we need to consider who is telling the story and why?

My synopsis does not do justice to the full TED Talk. I urge you to both watch and share this with your students. There are lots of sociological links to ethnicity, culture and identity, ethnocentric curriculum, institutional racism, education, stratification, social control, power and much more.

Discover more here.

Full TED talk

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