In Week 1, we heard Chimamanda Adichie speak about the power of stories to combat dangerous and dehumanizing narratives. At the end of her talk, she says, “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”. As a result, according to her, when we reject the single story, when we realize that there is never a single story about any place, we regain a kind of paradise.

As we also saw in Week 4, we all have our stories to offer, and the power of the first-person narrative can be helpful in reducing stereotypes, understanding those who differ from us, challenging our preconceived notions, and helping us connect more fully to our human community.

Storytelling has become popular again in recent years, with storytelling competitions popping up across the country. Some, like The Moth and Ex Fabula, aim to celebrate stories from all kinds of people in our country and in our world. Your final project is in the spirit of shared storytelling.

Instructions:

Your final project for this class asks you to provide your own story in a creative way that’s unique to you

If you choose to offer your own story, please conclude your presentation by saying what you learned from this experience: Has your perspective about your own life been broadened? Does it remain the same? What value, if any, do you find in telling your story? Why? And what new ideas do you take away from this experience?

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