Wednesday, 16 December 2009

The danger of the single story

5 comments:

AlooFar said...

You may want to read a rejoinder to her speech.

Here... http://www.mtls.ca/issue5/writings-essay-azuonye.php

Anengiyefa said...
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Anengiyefa said...

Hi AlooFar, I read what Nnorom Azuonye had to say and I am unable to see it as anything more than an unsuccessful attempt to discredit the genius that is Ms Adichie's speech.

For one thing, it is erroneous to infer from what Ms Adichie said, that her meaning is to suggest that everyone buys into stereotypes. That cannot be what she was saying. And it is improper to arrive at such an inference, because in the speech Ms Adichie gave specific examples, casting as examples, herself and her American room mate as specific individuals who had bought into the particular stereotypes that she described. She gave other examples too, but did not generalaise at any time during the speech as far as I could tell.

Not everyone thinks of Africa as a country, although many people do. Indeed, even in my Pan-Africanist mind, I too think of the whole of Africa as my home. But this is not to say that I am uninformed in the way that many of those who buy into this notion are.

I was unable to see Azuonye's "rejoinder" beyond the insidious and disingenuous. There is a lot of value in Adichie's speech. It is unsurprising too that this speech received the notoriety that it did..

Yvette Green Pittman said...

I was so glad to see this post as I just finished teaching Things Fall Apart and am now teaching two of her short stories. One of my goals is to help dispel negative stereotypes about the continent. Please see my most recent blog post, "Teaching What They Want."

Anengiyefa said...

@ Yvette Green Pittman, I read your post and loved it. Its wonderful to know that you and others like you who are so dedicated to your teaching still abound. My teachers were among the most important influences in my life. Thanks for visiting.