Thursday, March 19, 2020

Story Lab: Ted Talks

For my Storylab, I watched the Ted Talks given by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Jennifer Barnes. In The Danger of a Single Story, Adichie begins her talk by describing the role of foreign books in her childhood. She explained that the stories she wrote contained cultural aspects that did not belong to her culture. She was influenced by the stories of the white man that she felt like people like her couldn’t exist since they weren’t represented. In some ways, I can sympathize because many of the books I read were written by white people. As a child, I don’t remember reading a children’s book that was about Asian kid. The only thing I knew that was about Asian people was Mulan. Growing up with books that only portray American culture made me more familiarized their aspects. I spent a lot of my time at a daycare that belonged to a white family. When it comes to cuisine, I grew up eating American food - mashed potatoes, hot dogs, and pork and beans. When my mom cooked Filipino or Puerto Rican food, initially I didn’t like it. I remember wondering why my mom never cooked mashed potatoes (it was one of my favorites).

Another point in Adichie’s talk was having a single story for a person or group of people. Having a single story about someone just means having assumptions and preconception about the person before getting to know them. What causes us to have a single story are external factors that influence us. If a cultural group is portrayed in such a way, people are going to end up viewing them in that way.

Chimamanda Adichie Single Story
Source: Serendipity

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