Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie · TEDGlobal 2009

Youth at the Center of Peace and Security

The danger of a single story Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

Prepare for your discussion:

Look out for:

  • Impact of stories
  • Stereotypes are incomplete
  • Stories and power
  • Stories abilities to empower and humanize


  • How does the concept of “single story” apply to the categorization of “youth?”
  • In what ways do “single stories” impact our own identities, how we view others, and the choices we make?
  • What single stories have you heard about others? About yourself? In what way(s) are these stories incomplete?