I am going to tell you the danger of a single story. When I was younger I read a lot of western literature that did not relate to me, and then I discovered African literature. It was fulfilling. When I got to college in the United States, I realized that it was not only the literature that was unrelatable....
Americans have a "single story" of Africa. My college room mate felt sorry for me before she even ment me. She ashed how I was able to speak English and where was my tribal music.
When I was younger, I had a single story of a house boy at my home in Nigeria. All I saw was a poor family, I did not see them as creative and loving individuals
This was extremely upsetting to me, and even moreso when I realized how narrow a mindset Americans have of Africa. However, I realized that I was not alone in this thinking and I fell victim to a single story as well.
On vacation in Mexico, all I thought of was how American politics and anti immigration activists made Mexican people out to be cheats who sneak into the border.
I quickly saw that this was not true at all in Guadalajara
I realized I had developed a single story about Mexican people. I knew I had to break the cycle.
What if we began to see people as more than a single story? What if you knew more? Sometimes I wish that old college roommate knew more about Nigeria, all the influences, and the arts...the hopes and the dreams of the people.But, she didn't, and that is why we should push beyond the single story of someone. We need to break generalizations and see people on a level of humanity.
When meeting someone new, I urge you to dig deeper, and reject the single story. When we begin to reject the single story, is when we see people for who they really are.