Chimamanda Adichie - “The Danger of a Single Story.”
“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.
The consequence of the single story is this: it robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different, rather than how we are similar.
So that is how to create a single story: show a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become. It is impossible to talk about the single story without talking about power. How [stories] are told, who tells them, when they are told, [and] how many are told are really dependent on power. Power is not just the ability to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person. The Palestinian poet, Mourid Barghouti, writes that if you want to dispossess a people, the simplest way to do it is to tell their story and to start with ‘secondly.’ Start with the arrows of the Native Americans, and not with the arrival of the British, and you have an entirely different story. Start the story with the failure of the African state, and not with the colonial creation of the African state, and you have an entirely different story.”