Thursday, May 6

"Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story"

A Nigerian author whom I'd never before heard of, talks (link courtesy of Katie's mom) about the importance of understanding that a person, a people, a nation, a continent, cannot be understood entirely through a single perspective. It's a simple message but an important one. We grow lazy too easily and forget that there are rich as well as poor, sick as well as healthy, good as well as bad in Africa and somehow fail to realize that Sudan is not Chad is not Morocco is not Kenya is not South Africa. Americans, I feel, should be particularly sensitive to this when we realize so clearly that New York is not Florida is not Texas is not California is not Alaska, but we make the mistake, too.

Now, we just need to read some more stories. Of the top 25 selling books within the 'African' category of 'World Literature' on, there are thirteen different writers. Five are Nigerian, four are South African, one is Kenyan, one is German, one is Australian and one is American.

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