Why Teach Multicultural Literature?
iStockphoto.com I have taught literature at the college level for almost a decade and at as many as six different campuses. These have mainly been classes that were focused on non-western writing. One semester, I had assigned Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus and only a week earlier her TED talk, Danger of a Single Story had started to circulate on the web. I sent the link to my students and thought we could incorporate it into our discussion on colonialism, multiculturalism, issues of race and of course, the novel itself. Little did I know that this simple talk would elicit the intensely disproportionate response that landed in my inbox the next morning. Why teach U.S. students literature from different countries? Here is the video that set this off, followed by the student’s letter and my response: About the Adichie talk at the TED conference. In my opinion, Adichie perfectly typifies what you could call the ugly side of multiculturalism. My response:
Related: Multicultural Literature for Adolescents
• Multicultural Literacies