45 pages 1 hour read

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Danger of a Single Story

Nonfiction | Essay / Speech | Adult | Published in 2009

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.


“The Danger of a Single Story”

  • Genre: Nonfiction; speech
  • Originally Published: 2009
  • Reading Level/Interest: Grades 11-12; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: Approx. 29 pages; approx. 18 minutes on audio/video
  • Central Concern: Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie delivered this speech at TEDGLobal in 2009. In it, she discusses the limiting and potentially detrimental effects of stereotypes, false narratives and partial truths, and single, uninformed perspectives that lack depth. Using examples drawn from and about literature, politics, education, and her own life, Adichie promotes the value of the complexity of many stories.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Discussion of racism; immigration; poverty

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Author/Speaker

  • Bio: Born in 1977 in Enugu, Nigeria; lost family members and family possessions during the Nigerian Civil War; attended the University of Nigeria before arriving in the US to study at Drexel University in Philadelphia and the Eastern Connecticut State University; later attended Johns Hopkins University for creative writing; awarded 16 honorary degrees from prestigious colleges and universities and earned the MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant” honor (2008); inspired and influenced by Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe; has given several TEDx talks on cultural understanding, feminism, and the influence of background and history on individuals
  • Other Works: Purple Hibiscus (2003); Half of a Yellow Sun (2006); Americanah (2013); “We Should All Be Feminists” (2014)
  • Awards: “The Danger of a Single Story” has been viewed over 33 million times, becoming one of the most watched TED Talks of all time.