Mulattea is a blog written by Skye Haynes. Her posts explore mixed identity, feminism, race, religion, and privilege.

Mixed Media: The Danger of A Single Story

Mixed Media: The Danger of A Single Story

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Like I said last week, this is part of a three week series on interracial relationships. Click here for part one so you're not out of the loop.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story

I can't embed the video, so here's the link to it:  https://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story?language=en

 

In “The Danger of a Single Story”, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie shares her experience of growing up in Nigeria. She explains that when she grew up, she did not have African-written books, but rather, English and American books. Adichie adds that because she only read foreign books about white people with blue eyes, snow, and ginger beer, that’s what she believed literature to be like. She thought that literature wasn’t meant to be personally representative or identifiable to people like her. 

The purpose of this Ted Talk centers around the concept of the "single story." Adichie talked about how everyone has this one image, this one idea of what something should be like. She says the consequence of single stories is that it robs people of dignity, diversity, and their experiences; and that the way to truly eradicate the single story is to educate people with many diverse stories.

When she went to college, her roommate was disappointed to realize her Nigerian roommate wasn't a tribal, loin-cloth wearing, hungry African. It's ridiculous, but with the media's portrayal of Africa, her roommate's perspective is sadly relatable.

I know as an American that in the US, we've got so many single stories. We create single stories for Muslim people, undocumented people, people with heavy accents. We think we know exactly who they are based on less than a glance. 

Stereotypes.

We all automatically create these single stories. It's a split-second reaction. It's problematic. It's lazy. But we are all guilty of it.

So how does this relate to interracial relationships Skye?

People are out here dating for the wrong reasons. A reiteration of last week's point, dating interracially should never be a conscious decision. You shouldn't be checking off metaphorical, racial boxes when looking for a partner. Think about how many beautiful souls you're excluding when you check off a race. The amazing people that could've become your closest friends – gone. For what? Some arbitrary stereotype? 

This is all to say: Confront your single stories. Think past your stereotypes. Look harder. Adichie says in her talk,"The problem with stereotypes is not that they aren't true, it's that they are incomplete."

Before starting a relationship with someone, finish their story. I promise you it's worth it.

Views from the 301- Stories of Interracial Couples

Views from the 301- Stories of Interracial Couples

How Interracial Couples Sometimes Perpetuate Stereotypes

How Interracial Couples Sometimes Perpetuate Stereotypes