The Danger Of A Single Story
Project Description: For this project leading up to the final story draft and reading we did a series of readings and other small investigations to ensure our knowledge of the imperialism of Africa. We watched many videos to get a clearer idea of what happened during certain time periods in Africa.
Takeaways: During this project, I learned a lot, more than anything though, I learned that danger of a single story, and how much they can affect the lives of people. A single story in the simplest terms are the stereotypes we have been told about another ethnicity or group of people, in this case, Africans. So, think for a moment, when you think of Africa, what do you think of? The most common thing you will probably think of, or the first thing that will come to mind is dry, hot, poor, malnourished children, sickness, etc. This is the single story that you’ve been told, this the stereotype that you’ve been fed. Now of course this situation may be true in some parts of Africa, but look beyond that single story to realize that there are also different aspects on Africa, such as education, growing life, peace, etc. Another take away I had from the project was what makes a strong story. One of the qualities that makes for the best story is that you (the author) should show not tell. In other words you should make the reader feel as if they are in your story, use a lot of descriptive words, don’t just tell them, show them. Another tip to a successful story is having a lot of good dialogue between characters, but when you do don’t just use words like “he said/she said” use things such as “he exclaimed/ she murmured” it’ll make your reading much more intriguing.
The writing: For the writing aspect of this project there was a lot of work that went into making my story the best that it could be, such as, rough drafts, three separate rounds of critique, proofreading, typing and retyping ideas, etc. But the thing that I’m most proud of was my ability to honestly read the same lines of story over and over again without completely losing my mind. My classmates and myself both spent countless hours working on the same sentences and pieces of our stories to make them the best they could be. However the most challenging part of the writing process for me was doing critiques. Because people, both teachers and students, would tell me things I needed to fix, change, etc. but it was very hard for me to change something that I had once been so proud of, but in the end it was all for the better. One quote from my story that I am going to use show how my writing has grown is this very detailed sentence: “the sun was setting and making a beautiful orange and pink color in the open clear sky, not a single cloud in sight. As the two friends, walked to the river they told stories in English to each other. Stories of animals, people, themselves, anything they could think of, they told it. And Lutalo felt no shame, at times like this when he could truly do what he enjoyed he felt completely at ease.”
The Art: For the art section of this project the reason I did the type of design on my cover as I did was because I felt it gave a very good representation of the type of story I was writing; for example because a majority of the story has to do with two friends fighting for life, I thought the picture of hands reaching out for one another showed this perfectly, because the two needed each other to survive their three month ordeal. And the way I showed it in my cover is what I am most proud of. However, the most challenging thing for me was trying to make my cover original because I do not have photoshop, and my photoshop skills are not the best, so at times it was a bit difficult for me to make a unique cover. Because of this I would have liked to make my cover a little more personalized to fit my story better.
Personal Growth: Overall, I think that the biggest social lesson I learned was that we can no longer abide by the “single story” rule because it is dangerous, there are so many things we do not know about other groups of people and ethnicities, because we have to remember that there is always two sides to every story, and often times what we hear or see about a person or group of people is not always right.