4 Things To Know About Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

There are a number of featured cameos on Beyonce’s new self-titled album, released late last night/this morning — husband Jay Z, Drake, Frank Ocean, even daughter Blue Ivy. But the most interesting cameo to me, as a feminist, is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian author who’s TEDx talk is sampled on “Flawless.” At the end of the song — which was originally leaked as “Bow Down” — Adichie says:

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 / Because I am female I am expected to aspire to marriage / I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important / A marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support / But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? / We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or for accomplishments / Which I think can be a good thing / But for the attention of men / We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are / Feminist: A person who believes in the economic, social and political equality of the sexes.

Preach. So who is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie? Let’s learn more

1. As I mentioned, the sample Beyonce used on “Flawless” is from Adichie’s TEDx talk earlier this year called “We Should All Be Feminists.” You can watch the full talk below and I recommend you do because it’s amazing.

2. Adichie is the author of the novel Americanahwhich is included on many book critics Best Of lists for 2013. Here’s a great interview she did with NPR about the book.

3. She is also the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sunas well as a book of short stories called The Thing Around Your Neck. 

4. Adichie gave her first TED talk, called “The Danger of a Single Story,” in 2009, described on the site thusly: “Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.” Watch it here.


The Frisky

This post originally appeared on The Frisky. Republished with permission.

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  • Jenosaykwa

    Can someone explain to me all the Beyonce hate? I mean seriously there seems to be a consensus here that she’s like the worst thing ever and I just don’t understand.

    • B

      Hate? Did someone try to grab her and burn her at the stake? You’re being melodramatic.What you can fathom is people not like her music or public persona which is something that I really don’t understand.

    • Apple

      Don’t play stupid you know what she meant. Nobody is trying to assassinate Obama but we know people overwhelmingly hates him

  • B

    @ Apple
    You are the stupid one. Anytime someone doesn’t like something Beyonce does this juvenile nonsense comes out about somebody “hating” her and minions like yourself consign the silliness. Yes, it is possible in the universe to not like the PRODUCT BEYONCE SELLS, grow up.
    BTW the comparison to Obama makes you look insane.

  • I saw her video on The Danger of a Single Story and it really opened my eyes up because it’s true. I’ve been down that road of assumptions before and know people have done the same thing with me. I love her talking and I really want to read her books, because I believe i”ll be just as engaged with them. Glad Bey’s album is helping shine more light on her and her ideas.