The Danger of a Single Story

In honor of International Women’s Day, I am reposting some reflections about Chimamanda Adichie’s Ted talk, “Danger of a Single Story.”

The Inspired Philanthropist

Check out this interesting TED talk by Chimamanda Adichie. Her message is so right on: Our perceptions of others usually arise from a “single story”.


I am keenly aware that the single story can limit needlessly people’s understanding of a person or thing.

I have a hearing loss so profound that it takes the roar of a jet engine to bring any meaningful semblance of sound to my brain (when I am not wearing my cochlear implant, of course). And even then, I may not hear anything.

The way people perceive me often comes from several different single stories (and that would take several blog posts to talk about them all!):

  • All deaf people know sign language.
  • I must be “Deaf”. The capitalization of the word indicates that people think I am part of a culture that uses American Sign Language (ASL).
  • It is important to talk louder or over-articulate…

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