Adichie was stereotyped when he was in the university by her roommate, who was an American. The American roommate was shocked to know that Adichie could speak English. Adichie shows how the American roommate’s single story about a catastrophe in Africa had generalized all persons in Africa. Adichie, too, was a perpetrator of the single-story stereotyping. She stereotyped the people of Mexico based on what he had seen from the news about immigration into the United States. She thought of Mexicans as people who were running from the border to the U.S. This was contrary to what she expected when she traveled to Mexico, where she met loving people going about their business normally.
“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story” (Adichie). A single-story makes people have only one perspective, which leads us to assumptions, decisions, and conclusions which are unfounded. Knowing a person from a perspective or situation prevents people from a more complex understanding of that person. People have a heterogeneous compilation of stories where if a person focuses on one story, he would be taking away his humanity.
My biggest takeaway from the TED talk was the need to broaden the scope of the stories people consume to expand their knowledge of the cultures and people other than stereotyping them to one story. The narrator challenges people to go beyond the stereotype and prejudice and interact with people on an individual level. The power that is the ability to tell a story and that story become the definitive story of that person, is set in the mindset right from when told stories at a young age. Storytellers have the obligation of telling the whole truth in the story so as to diversify the perceptions that a person has towards a situation.
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. “The danger of a single story.” (2009). Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_ngozi_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story