The other thing that we’re not really talking about is guns. The wonderful Shonda Rhimes said very wisely that you have to do something until you can do something else. What this demonstrates, I think, is how impressionable and vulnerable we are in the face of a story, particularly as children. It sort of sounds like a Harvard Graduate saying I went to college in Boston, which by the way has to be the most immodest form of modesty. Now as a public figure, I’m still struck by how, in the airport––and this happens very often––I’m jumping in line, and I’m going to the First Class line, invariably somebody will say to me, “Oh, that’s not where you’re supposed to be, ma’am, this way.” And it’s just an automatic assumption. (Transcript), How The Media Affects Youth: Oda Faremo Lindholm (Transcript), Transcript: What If a US Presidential Candidate Refuses to Concede After an Election, Kamala Harris: ‘You Chose Truth’ Speech (Full Transcript). If I had to talk to women in Saudi Arabia, I think it’s a very good idea to celebrate every little step. Watch this famous Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Speech. And there’s nothing more beautiful than to wake up every day holding in your hand the full measure of your integrity. I also do think that America can do better and do more about racism. I realized that people like me, girls with skin the color of chocolate, whose kinky hair could not form ponytails, could also exist in literature. These people who are having these torches at night, in the morning they get dressed up and go to perfectly respectable jobs. When I was in primary school, my teacher said at the beginning of term that she would give the class a test and whoever got the highest score would be the class monitor. You don’t know what they could contribute. The reason that maybe some people were surprised is, I think, the language of racism and race. Read More. When I learned, some years ago, that writers were expected to have had really unhappy childhoods to be successful, I began to think about how I could invent horrible things my parents had done to me. How Does Culture And Culture Influence Our Culture? So I always felt this way. Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?’ Because that would be dishonest,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote in We Should All Be Feminists (the book based on her 2012 TED Talk). A women said to me––she’s young, she’s married–– “I was reading everything in your book. I think I hadn’t experienced anything of that sort. I was impressed with the particular theatrics of the man who found us a parking spot that evening, and so as we were leaving, I decided to leave him a tip. And so, Class of 2018 at no time has it felt as urgent as now that we must protect and value the truth. Never mind that I had no idea what ginger beer was. I think it’s just all full of resilience and I think it is under-celebrated in the U.S., and I find that quite sad. I remember when something happened in our neighborhood here in Maryland and the police went from house to house asking questions. I urge you to continue. As a child growing up in a university campus in eastern Nigeria, Adichie loved reading and writing. And for people here who are not familiar with Lagos, there’s that wonderful Lagos’ fixture, the sprinkling of energetic man who hung around outside establishments and very dramatically “help” you park your car. And I’ve never forgotten that incident. I could tell from his tone, the same tone that you would use to say something like “You’re a supporter of terrorism.”. Pages: First |1 | ... | → | Last | View Full Transcript. It is hard to tell ourselves the truth of our emotions that maybe what we feel is hurt rather than anger, that maybe it’s time to close the chapter of a relationship and walk away. Because all I had read were books in which characters were foreign, I had become convinced that books by their very nature had to have foreigners in them and had to be about things with which I could not personally identify. I smiled a mad smile, and I mumbled ‘the one about the man discovering himself’ which of course was complete bullshit. But lying, the word, the idea, the act has such political potency in America today, but it somehow feels more apt. But, when I came to the U.S., it just changed. You may unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the provided link on any marketing message. Now, things changed when I discovered African books. So before I tell you about not lying, I must first admit to lying. I was of course absolutely mortified that day but I have come to respect what that writer’s wife had, a fantastic bullshit detector and now that I have the good fortune of being an established writer, one who does not like to miss an opportunity to wallow in praise, by the way, I can sense when a person is saying empty words and it feels much worse than they had said nothing at all, so have a good bullshit detector. They will roll their eyes when you make a normal human mistake. Now fast forward to some years later, I wrote a novel about a man who among other things beats his wife and whose story doesn’t end very well. But to insist on only these negative stories is to flatten my experience and to overlook the many other stories that formed me. I had read Tyler and Updike and Steinbeck and Gaitskill. I grew up in Nigeria through military dictatorships and through incipient democracies. I think, also, that we live in a culture where people don’t actually listen to one another and people don’t actually hear one another. Thank you. And it was a bit of a fancy store that sold expensive dresses, and I just wanted to go and look around. There goes Harvard. It’s changing, but I don’t feel that western feminism is my own story. That might be the first start. I think I must have read every single Mills & Boon romance published before I was sixteen. So you’re charged to be citizen leaders which I suppose it means you’re charged to be leaders. I started to write about things I recognized. I routinely lie about my height even at the doctor’s office. Right? It would be a way of … 33, No. There is work to be done, there are tarnished things that need to shine again. Then an academic, a Nigerian woman told me that feminism was not our culture and that feminism wasn’t African, and that I was calling myself a feminist because I had been corrupted by “Western books.” Which amused me, because a lot of my early readings were decidedly unfeminist. Everyone at the table was quiet, watching, waiting. After referring to the black Africans as “beasts who have no houses,” he writes, “They are also people without heads, having their mouth and eyes in their breasts.”, Now, I've laughed every time I've read this. We need to have kindergartens in African American neighborhoods that are actually very good.” Because that’s where it starts. I mean, in Nigeria, as all countries of the world, you only have to look at the history of a country or the people and inevitably, you will learn about when they can push back. She asked if she could listen to what she called my “tribal music,” and was consequently very disappointed when I produced my tape of Mariah Carey. In this single story, there was no possibility of Africans being similar to her in any way, no possibility of feelings more complex than pity, no possibility of a connection as human equals. But the truth is that you cannot create anything of value without both self-doubt and self-belief. I don’t know quite know how it works, but it seems to me that something needs to change. What the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe calls “a balance of stories.”. I think it’s changing a bit. And while you’re doing it, be astute about when you need balance and when you don’t. I grew up in Nigeria through military dictatorship and through incipient democracies and America always felt aspirational when yet another absurd thing happened politically we would say, this can never happen in America. And one must admire the imagination of John Lok. So, as an observer, I think that it’s certainly changed a bit from its racist past, but I think there’s a lot more that could be done. And to be African-American is to have had a very different experience. Just do exactly as they say.” Because I’m terrified for him. When viewed thereafter people will only see and think of this single story and will not embrace anything that may alter this single story. That we have different kinds of women who can talk about the differences in their experiences. I was 19. Now there are other lies, sadly, however, I cannot tell you without having to kill you afterwards. I didn’t want to be black. (Transcript), How The Media Affects Youth: Oda Faremo Lindholm (Transcript), Transcript: What If a US Presidential Candidate Refuses to Concede After an Election, Kamala Harris: ‘You Chose Truth’ Speech (Full Transcript).
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