The TED talk I want to share with you today is by the author of Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Adichie. Whilst not a children’s writer, her talk, The danger of a single story, is full of relevance for anyone interested in sharing books with children: Adichie powerfully and eloquently reminds us about the need for diversity in storytelling.
“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”
“Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.”
What are your favourite children’s literature resources for making sure we don’t tell only a single story?
One of my very favourites is Letterbox Library. To quote them, “Letterbox Library is committed to celebrating equality and diversity in the very best children’s books. We believe that challenging stereotypes and discrimination should play a fundamental part in every child’s education and that we all, as adults, share a collective responsibility for making each and every child feel valued, regardless of their background or abilities. ” If you’re on Twitter, I highly recommend following @letterboxlib.