The Danger of a Single Story


“It is impossible to talk about the single story without talking about POWER.” – Chimamanda Adichie

Tara Affolter opened her session last Friday with Chimamanda Achidie’s TEDtalk, The Danger of A Single Story.


“Why does this matter?” Tara asked the students, “We come to places like Middlebury with a story of who we are, what our family’s expectations are like, all sorts of influences and impacts; yet we are dropped mid-stream into this place.  College lets us start to remake oursevlves, but that history shapes who we are and how we see the world.  Without access to a larger picture the story told about us and the story we tell about others is limited.”

During the session Tara challenged students: “Consider the stories that you were told about race, class, stories that were told about you and stories you were told about how to be a success.  How have these narratives shaped your perceptions? How might these stories be incomplete?”

Now we challenge you to go through this exercise and to discuss it with your peers and mentors.

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