Topic overview

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk focuses on the influence stories had on changing her perception about herself and the world around her. As a child, she was influenced by reading British and American literature but was unable to identify with the stories and characters presented there. However, after discovering African literature, she started to write about things that are familiar to her.

Adichie talks about how a single story can make people feel disconnected from others. As a child, Adichie’s understanding of a poor family was limited due to her preconceived ideas about poverty. She was later surprised to discover that the family were creative and hardworking. Similarly, when Adichie moved to America, she discovered that her roommate had preconceived ideas about African culture in part due to the stories she has heard.

Also, after she travelled to America, Adichie was surprised when people saw her as African, as she did not assign importance to her racial identity until then. She discovered that many Americans view Africa as a single country and do not consider its diversity or treat its inhabitants as i...

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