Thoughts On 2 Videos

“Binta and The Great Idea” and “The Danger of a Single Story”

January 21, 2016

In The Danger of a Single Story, Adichie explains how we make stereotypical judgments based on what we see and hear. Her evaluations were so brilliantly spot on and was very similar to the things we had discussed in class. Society tends to repeat the same information over and over again, forcing our minds to make judgments on a particular group as one identical unit. This is very prominent in digital media today. Going back to what a classmate had mentioned in their blog post, there is definitely an underrepresentation of people of color within runway and fashion. There is also another dark side attached to the industry. A side with many negative connotation and stereotypes associated with those apart of the entertainment/fashion industry. This includes stereotyping models and believing they are all materialistic, superficial and that they spend money like no other. Although, the internet, television and other media outlets are what helped mold and shape these generalizations, there is actually some truth behind it. There are many materialistic models out there, but as Adichie had stated in her speech, we are only hearing one part of the story. Meaning we are only shown a few people who match these criterias when in actuality there is quite a number of people who don’t. What I love about Adichies speech is the fact that she even critiques herself to show that she has fallen subject to being judgmental.

In the video “Binta and The Great Idea,” a young girl named Binta is fortunate enough to be blessed with a family who encourages her to go to school, but her cousin Soda does not share the same privilege as her. Instead she has to stay at home due to her father’s ignorance. This ties in with what Adichie had said in the video “The Danger of a Single Story.” Although Senegal Africa is changing and girls can get an education, Soda’s father still believes that African girls should not be educated. That they need to learn to clean the house, get married and then clean and tidy up the houses for their husband and kids. This judgment is based on what he had seen growing up. One of the most profound things Adichie had said in The Dangers of a Single Story, is that we must shine light on the other side to the story. This was done in the “Binta the Great Idea” when the children at school made a play to convince Soda’s father to let her attend school with them. This was such a powerful moment because the audience gets to see the power of art and people coming together in harmony. In the end, the children helped convince the father by displaying how women across the globe are going to school and Soda is finally allowed to get an education.

I feel like I can definitely relate to both of these videos. Coming from parents who are both immigrants, I too had witness them being stereotyped very often. What is awful is that I too perpetuate stereotypes that create a single story. For example, I would’ve thought Adichie came from the poorest part of Africa as soon as she said she was from Nigeria. I would’ve made a quick judegment on her (unintentionally of course) soley because of the content I had seen all my life about Africa. After watching these videos, I realize that there will always be judgements made on people, but if we can learn to unlearn these stereotypes and become more open to the other side of the story, we can engage in a new kind of thinking and remember that a single story is only an incomplete description.