Noah Breakspear

if x=y then C+=A+


A Single Story

During the first few years of elementary school, We all became involved in fundraisers such as UNICEF or AidforAfrica. These fundraisers describe how kids in Africa live in poverty and we must help donate money for school supplies and other needs. This is the single story that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was illustrating. The educational system teaches children about the rest of the cultures in our world but it seems to be only the stereotypes. I’ll admit, for a long time when I was younger, I believed that all of Africa was in a financial crisis, only to do some of my own autonomous research, and realize that this is a false statement. Countries in Africa such as the Central African Republic or the Democratic Republic of Congo do indeed live in poverty, but this is only 2 out of 54 countries. To answer the question “How might we begin to “reject the single stor[ies]” in our lives”, I strongly believe that we as a society should give more education at a more appropriate age. I started learning about UNICEF in kindergarten and all I was taught is that kids in Africa need our help and that they needed to walk 5 miles to get semi-clean drinking water. However, I was not told that parts of Africa such as Nigeria has a GDP of 500 billion. That’s a third of Canadas GDP of 1.5 trillion! Leaving out this small detail creates stereotypes that should not be present. Teaching children at an older age will allow them to grasp more information and understand all the important aspects. In conclusion, I believe that leaving out small details will create untrue stereotypes and will greatly affect how people percept these concepts.

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