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Strong Female Friday: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Posted by Samantha Johnson Aug 8, 2013 , , , , ,

I would like today to ask that we begin to dream about and plan for a different world, a fairer world. A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how we start: we must raise our daughters differently. And we must raise our sons differently.”

In a TED talk from April of this year, strong woman and novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, addressed gender and feminism in the world. Not only in America, but internationally as well, since she grew up in Nigeria. The internet has reacted strongly to Adichie’s talk.

In her TED Talk, Adichie speaks of growing up in Nigeria and even tells a story about the first time she was called a “feminist” when she was 14. She briefly studied Medicine before moving to the United States to attend Eastern Connecticut State University. There, she graduated summa cum laude with a major in Communication and a minor in Political Science. That is only the beginning of her phenomenal list of accomplishments. Adichie went on to earn a Masters degree in Creative Writing from John Hopkins University and a second Masters degree in African Studies from Yale University. She taught fiction at Princeton, has published 2 novels and a collection of short stories and has won many awards for her writing. She has achieved all of this by the age of 30.

Adichie’s immense drive is inspiring. Her TED Talk is eloquent and endearing. She speaks to the audience as if they are dear friends. Adichie is a great example of a strong woman not afraid to speak her mind but who also speaks her mind with such poise and elegance.

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls,’You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man.’… But what if we question the premise itself? Why should a woman’s success be a threat to a man?

Watch Adichie’s talk here. Tell us, what do you think of Adichie’s talk? How would you answer her question, “Why should a woman’s success be a threat to a man?” What do you think makes Adichie a strong woman?

Samantha  is SWSG’s Communications and Social Media intern for Summer 2013. She is originally from the Bay Area and is a University of California, Riverside graduate who recently completed a year of service with City Year Boston. She is an avid reader and writer who is passionate about literature and powerful women all over the world and throughout history. 

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