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The danger of a single story | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

60081 ratings | 4379071 views
http://www.ted.com Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding. TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the "Sixth Sense" wearable tech, and "Lost" producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at http://www.ted.com/translate. Watch a highlight reel of the Top 10 TEDTalks at http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/top10
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Text Comments (2782)
Meh Jones (2 days ago)
She is a genius
Andre Williams (2 days ago)
Even in 2019. Amazing, touching piece.
William Jayaraj (3 days ago)
Excellent speech by Chimmamanda . It is true that the literature has a powerful potential to motivate people. Her ambition to help her nation by starting libraries and supplying books will definitely will bear fruit. Like her, many from her place will get a chance to go to Harvard and Yale to pursue higher studies and that will in turn enlighten her nation and also the entire African continent . Best wishes .
Hala Rifai (3 days ago)
This is in the IGCSE anthology :,)
That Gay Lizard (3 days ago)
My teacher told us to watch this, we are in 5th grade and I love her now
darkroses123 (5 days ago)
Such insights makes me want to explore and boarden my horizon when it to reading n the types of materials I read.
Uchechukwu ugwu (5 days ago)
God blessed this woman with wisdom, can't deny that fact. very relevant 10 years later.
alvin nelson (6 days ago)
So grateful for my College Professor at Seton Hall to assign this video for the first Module.
Eniola Odunuga (6 days ago)
truly even some nigerians have come to see Chimamanda as only a feminist other than the complete sensible person that she is
Malak Ikram (9 days ago)
best ted talk you ar gorgeous 😘😘😘
Shajeda Begum (10 days ago)
Chinua Achebe was an amazing writer. Read things fall part if you haven’t.
George Evans (11 days ago)
I love how she was able to talk about these hard things without any contention, without pointing fingers and trying to start a fight. This is the right way to raise awareness for these sort of things.
Rosemary Paulino (13 days ago)
Every few months I find myself here again. Thank you, Chimamanda.
Mariana Silva (13 days ago)
Perfect! :)
Chimananda, I hopelessly love you! Daughter of Africa, I'm proud of you.
Bento Efrem (15 days ago)
Shaji Papan (19 days ago)
I loved her speech because I have to study her DANGER OF A SINGLE STORY
Charlie Chaplin (19 days ago)
If this topic is of interest to you I recommend the book "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" by Paulo Friere
Ernest Ojukwu (20 days ago)
Igbo amaka?
Claire Nyakana (21 days ago)
Still can’t believe that was 2009, just watched this and it feels and sounds so fresh....Music to my ears...😉 This topic/subject is timeless & will always be relevant. Surely it’s good to respect each other’s stories with no judgments/ biases. Authenticity is key! No one else can ever try to tell your own story. It’s yours period...and no one else can tell it like you do.🤷🏽‍♀️
Tobi Sami'at Ibrahim (22 days ago)
Love this ❤
Nina Rhoades (22 days ago)
Absolutely wonderful
Badlaama Urukehu (26 days ago)
Can't write their own coloring books...
Badlaama Urukehu (26 days ago)
And yes, this is pretentious.
Badlaama Urukehu (27 days ago)
Ayan Hirsi Ali is a hundred times the woman this squat will ever be.
Badlaama Urukehu (27 days ago)
Beasts remove clitorises... Notice she coughs before she mentions children...
Dorothy Iorsase (27 days ago)
Her speech is the power of the ability to tell a story that starts and ends....sounds like the book Americanah....a complete beauty and brains...I will write like her some day....though from childhood experience... Loll
Sharon Edos polo (28 days ago)
Respect i am indeed proud of you 🇳🇬. May God bless you
KAISAN KAMAL (29 days ago)
who came here because of edexcel through anthology or the igcse and who is watching this in 2018 and 2019
Treasure Okoh (30 days ago)
🙌🏾 I love this woman❤️
Ali Queen (30 days ago)
Very admirable woman
Bright Tenbil (1 month ago)
Best of all time. Africa is Proud of You!
Alberto Sordina (1 month ago)
Her accent is so sexy
Swetha Jayakrishnan (1 month ago)
Is there anyone who came here by studying this speech as a chapter?
Sanjana Sujith (1 month ago)
I came here bcoz I have this speech in my syllabus and I have exam tomorrow.
Roberto Medeiros (1 month ago)
Vergara students here?
JT- Taguchi (1 month ago)
Oh god that’s my English language text
Sedanur Aslan (1 month ago)
Mali ve Kamerun’a gelmeden önce bende tek bir hikayeye sahiptim ama şimdi binlerce görüşüm oldu.Binlerce hikayeye tanıklık ettim. Afrika’ya gelip bu insanlarla tanışmak paha biçilemez bir armağan iyi ki hayatımın bir bölümünde sizlerle aynı yolda yürüdüm..
Doro Mccloskey (1 month ago)
Her voice is so nice, held my attention the entire time, super interesting speech
jonathan cave (1 month ago)
Beautifully said , well done
Hajer AlMubarak (1 month ago)
i had automatically clapped my hands when she finished her speech
Saule Os (1 month ago)
me too:D
Hajer AlMubarak (1 month ago)
This is so deep i am in shock
M4j Engineering (1 month ago)
I have watched this video over and over.I don't know if I feel sad or excited,cuz I came from a place who's people are hardly seen beyond her stories of corruption,poor governance with a single president since 1982 etc.Just like the rest of Africa.I only thank Ngozi that her speech since 2009 is only an inspiration for me in ending 2018 to tell the otherside of cameroons story in 2019. The power of multiple stories.thanks
Elizabeth M. (1 month ago)
Travel is a great way to eliminate the effects of a single story! Real travel- experience the people, not other tourists.
Yaseen Mollik (1 month ago)
Mesmerizing voice! Love her <3
always redirect (1 month ago)
In 2009, her saying young Americans were psycho s on a killing spree was a laughing matter in 2018 it's a sad sad story. We need change people
Shaam Adam (1 month ago)
That's absolutely breathtaking story from magnificently brilliant young talented woman. I agree that single story made Africa unnoticed!
Alex Muir (1 month ago)
Love your talk.. living in Gambia since 2007. Gambians have as many misconceptions about a white man as americams of Africans. You can't understand a culture from another continent. Especially before the internet.
Alex Muir (1 month ago)
+MAMA CHOUCHOU i agree with you. I was generalizing. Btw even Gambians do this. I've been told many times its all similar below the Sahara. Clearly there are complex differences between cultures and many similarities a. I love Gambia though. I have a symbiotic relationship here with a manjago muslim family. Enjoy helping the children do better in school.
MAMA CHOUCHOU (1 month ago)
Alex Muir am confused when you talk about “Africa “ and “African” when you have only been to one only country which is Gambia and there are 54 countries in Africa?🤔🤨 It’s like talking about European in general when you had only been to Russia or Germany, or talking about America in general when you had only been to Mexico 🤨🤔...
Alex Muir (1 month ago)
And to be clear i was referring to tv shows and movies that are representative of modern Africa. Clearly history is covered widely and major events but its like the characters often have only little details about culture. The complexity is impossible to grasp in a 2 hr moveor even 100 2 hour movies.
Alex Muir (1 month ago)
When i first arrived in Gambia in 2004 i was like baby.. learning the tribes greetings, the names of trees and fruit, mangeh dem fi, toubab, monfingo. What is clear is Africans do a poor job of creating media that is interestimg for a North American audience perhaps because many haven't visited and can't grasp the requirements while of course many are visiting and do create great content and some without the visit. Generally though its the musicians that are making north Americans fall in love with Africa and we can't hear the words. But tv ahows or movies produced in africa not so much visibility across the ocean.
Christabel Mhariwa (1 month ago)
This woman inspires me so much. I would love to meet her and tell my Literature students that i finally met my role model.
fredrika27 (1 month ago)
Just came across this speech and was blown away! Her narrative is like many minorities in the US who don't represent the narrative the country has written for them!
trishaana Sewa (1 month ago)
Never thought a single stories can be this jeopardto ones perception.
trishaana Sewa (1 month ago)
MAMA CHOUCHOU (1 month ago)
trishaana Sewa harmful or harmless?
Falalongkornz (1 month ago)
The ironic thing here is that she gives us only a single story of her roommate.
Falalongkornz (1 month ago)
+MAMA CHOUCHOU Am I incorrect, then?
MAMA CHOUCHOU (1 month ago)
Falalongkornz please...😒 you think you’re smart?
DIGIT2 (1 month ago)
TU Wien any1?
MAMA CHOUCHOU (1 month ago)
DIGIT2 where is it?
Vale Viganò (1 month ago)
Altinay and I (1 month ago)
Were watching this in Libary?
Alex White (1 month ago)
i hate my teacher
Gifty Praisy (1 month ago)
Good very Good
Alby Nana Cady (1 month ago)
As to why I feel emotional watching this, I guess I will understand ONE DAY. Until then, I must say this is one of the best speeches I've ever come across. I'm a proud Ghanaian.
The Minish (1 month ago)
F A N T A S T I C ! The whole world should stop for a moment and watch that
abstractartist23 (1 month ago)
This is the girl from Beyoncé- Flawless
abstractartist23 (1 month ago)
MAMA CHOUCHOU (1 month ago)
abstractartist23 that’s the only think you can say about her?
Kamila Sousa (1 month ago)
Brown Moscato (1 month ago)
5K Nigerian for one job vacancy 😭
William Rops (1 month ago)
Does anyone know where she spoke this speech? I would really appreciate if someone could find this because I cannot anywhere. Thanks.
Daniel Esu (1 month ago)
I think it was in London
Norman de Bellefeuille (1 month ago)
Everyone has a story. I think the world would be a better place if we took the time and listened to them
MAMA CHOUCHOU (1 month ago)
Norman de Bellefeuille French?
Bizzγ (1 month ago)
She has such a beautiful accent
Bizzγ (1 month ago)
MAMA CHOUCHOU (1 month ago)
Bizzγ where are you from?
Enzo Seven (1 month ago)
RESPECT! #enzoseven
Moritz Steiner (1 month ago)
your mom gay
Dear maskphobia (1 month ago)
I'm going to fail my exam for this speech
Daniel Kwon (1 month ago)
So beautiful. Inspiring. Elegant.
Life with Minkie (1 month ago)
Phenomenal woman 💕
FlappyCat2000 (1 month ago)
Does this mean we can take over Russia in the Winter?
Chinonyelum Osakwe (1 month ago)
I adore you ma, you are truly a gift from God!
Ce Herre (1 month ago)
Love it ♥️
Zoey (1 month ago)
PHI Bonacci (1 month ago)
Vai cair no PAS
Jaguar Expert (2 months ago)
I can't believe she believed in the Mexican stereotypes. I thought she was a good person
FlappyCat2000 (1 month ago)
She's a good person, not omniscient. She's wise because of her experiences, and the whole point is that it's easy to buy into the single story. Not that anyone who buys into the single story is racist.
Jemima Uche (1 month ago)
Lol you missed the whole point of what she was talking about
Two Hamsters (2 months ago)
I wish there was more women in America like you beautiful and intelligent
Miss Moxie (2 months ago)
I came here on the suggestion of my Nigerian coworker This is an amazing viewpoint and an excellent point
MarksmanGPBR (2 months ago)
So smart, so eloquent, so intelligent, so cultured and yet so humble. A beautiful woman both inside and outside doing what she does best: Telling stories. There's never one truth, and truth is a matter of view. Love from Brazil. Thanks for the insight (and good humour).
Mariam (2 months ago)
G Ibrahim (2 months ago)
I absolutely loved this. And her.
Amidou Badiane (2 months ago)
Joe Salamone (2 months ago)
Love her! My Role Model!!
nahir lopez (2 months ago)
5:56 to 6:28. i just love her.
MAMA CHOUCHOU (1 month ago)
nahir lopez was it also your point of vu?
Anli Qi (2 months ago)
When she says something funny nobody reacts.
F I (2 months ago)
One of the best TED Talks I’ve ever listened to. Very evocative and thought-provoking
josie abby (2 months ago)
wow, just wow. could listen to her and what she has to say forever. definitely gonna read her book!
Tim Goodrich (2 months ago)
She is in America giving a lecture in a heavy accent, about our culture? Well sweetie, why are you here? Go somewhere else and cry about your inequality.
Charlie Chaplin (19 days ago)
You say America is awesome Tim, but I wonder how well you really know it. What are a few of the best American history books you've read?
Tim Goodrich (1 month ago)
No, it’s not an evil terrible place. TED is a platform for divisive, whiny, snowflakes like yourselves. America is awesome, even with institutionally racist programs like, affirmative action. Can you post a link to an Asian immigrant in America with a chip on their shoulder like this liberal arts SJW? I’ll stand by...........
MAMA CHOUCHOU (1 month ago)
O faithful well said, couldn’t have said better
O faithful (2 months ago)
People like you are the reason why amerikkka is an evil terrible place. The torment you feel when a beautiful intelligent African woman clearly elucidates the sheer stupidity of ignorant hateful ameriKKKans!!
Pokemon Ash (2 months ago)
I was sooooo late to hear this wonderful speech, if I could see her it would be wonderful
Mojache (2 months ago)
her accent is amaazing i just finished reading purple hibiscus. it was soo good
Medjison Thelus (2 months ago)
watching this at f*cking night school
Tania Pennetti (2 months ago)
Left me nodding in agreement...paradise sounds better. Bravo!
Karen Koutsoumbaris (2 months ago)
You are amazing and I love your books 📚
Hannah JNope (2 months ago)
Wow inspirational!! Thank you very much
amy laker (2 months ago)
Wow this gave me hope and has taught me alot of things of how i hear and precieve stories
prettybrowneyesqq (2 months ago)
This is a beautiful woman who is an incredible speaker. I was assigned this video for a paper last yr for a college Psych class. The message here is so true and she explains it wonderfully. How easy it is for ppl to believe something as truth just because its the story theyve always been fed. Im glad to see comments by some in Jr High school & High school saying this was a required assignment. If more people at younger ages hear this message perhaps the future generations will have more open minds than what some of us older generations have experienced.
Matari Sambia (2 months ago)
** I am so proud of you young sister.**
Jitendra. Thacker. (2 months ago)
Brilliant video. Well articulated.

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