Posted by : VANITY Blog Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Every Tuesday, we'll feature a TED Talk that we think could empower and inspire immigrant youth. Today's featured TED Talk is by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who was born and raised in Nigeria. Having written numerous critically-acclaimed books that have started to reshape African literature, she is an inspiration to many.

In this TED Talk, she tells us why paying attention to a single story may cause us harm. Our own cultural lives and the cultural backgrounds of other people influence us everyday in the way we think, feel, and act. Oftentimes, listening to a single story limits us from recognizing that people who come from similar cultural backgrounds do not possess the same exact beliefs, behaviour, and experiences. Single story causes misjudgment and misunderstanding.

As Chimamanda points out, single story can produce stereotypes. And the problem with stereotypes is not that they are false, but  that they present an incomplete story. 

Trust me when I say that you won't regret spending 19 minutes of your life watching this:

Favourite quote from the talk: "All these stories make me who I am. But to insist on only these negative stories is to flatten my experience and to overlook the many other stories that formed me. The single story creates stereotypes. And the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make the single story the only story."

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Vancouver Immigrant Youth (VANITY) Blog is an online space made for youth, by youth. Here, you will find stories and experiences written by youth immigrants who once felt how challenging it was to be a newcomer in Vancouver. If you are a newcomer in Vancouver (or anywhere in Canada), we hope to give you all the resources you need to feel comfortable in this country. We hope to give you tips and advices on how we adjusted to our lives here as youth immigrants. Through this site, we want to empower you to bring out your full potential.





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