Single stories

My upbringing in school was probably like any one else. I spent the majority of my time reading about Shakespeare and how important these classic works are to our schooling and understanding. Yes, these are beneficial to know and be aware of but I was never introduced to anything out of the English white person who is facing some type of problem in the story. It wasn’t until as a student I was allowed to pick my own book and analyze it that I learned a bit about diversity. For this particular assignment I scoured the school library for a book about a different culture or life in general from mine. It wasn’t till I went to the public library in my town that I found a book about Pakistan women living in war and forced marriages. It was a shock to me as I had never heard about this type of life. As a teacher I will ultimately bring the point of view and bias of a white middle class female that has lived in Canada her entire life. I have never been a minority in my life and this is important for me to understand. I need to make sure that I own these biases and make an effort to work on them. 

When Chimamanda Adichie began to recall her experience of single stories I instantly began to relate. There are always the stories of a blue eyed white person, a typical happy family, some type of small challenge, and constantly have a happy ending. Yes, these are usually good happy reads but it also places lenses on students such as what colour of skin is majority and what a typical family should look like. I feel that going to school I was almost cheating of understanding other cultures, languages and people just because my teacher did not realize all we read about was white people. As a future teacher I can understand this and be willing to give my students a diverse education as I now know the importance of this. 

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