The Danger of a Single Story Project Story and Reflection
Reflection and Cover:
For this Project, there were two main assignments. First off, we were told to create a story about any country in Africa of our choice that was not a “Single Story”. “Single Stories” are like sterio types of places and things, and are seen as “Single Stories” Because of the one or more overwhelming stereotypes that block out the truth. If Africa’s case, there are huge single stories we first learned to understand, then with that knowledge crafted our stories to block out the single stories. Secondly, after crafting our non-stereotypical stories, we created book covers with illustrations from our stories, that helped break the stereotype and illustrate more than one story about our selected country and Africa.
Throughout this project, I learned more then I have about any other topic ever. I feel this is because coming into this project, I was filled with single stories about Africa. I learned that the dangers of single stories is the lack of truth they cause, and make people think about things in a way they shouldn't or incorrectly. In my opinion, the biggest danger of single stories is the distrust they have in the form of stereotypes. In this project, I also learned about imperialism. I learned that due to all of Africa's imperialism from different countries, they have left a lasting impression on Africa. For example, Native languages throughout the time after imperialism in Africa have nearly died out amongst the majority of people. Because of this, most people have become bilingual. But, most bilingual people in Africa do not speak their native languages as their primary language. This is directly because of imperialism. For my story I wrote, I feel the strongest ingredient was being able to show, not tell my reader things and events in a descriptive way.
Overall with my story, I am most proud of the way I was able to research things to incorporate in my time period (1850’s) to help break single stories about imperialism. I feel that it was most challenging to build up rising action in my story, because my story did not incorporate any action except for at the climax. If I had a chance to redo this project, I would have found a way to incorporate more action into my story, while still driving home the fact that friendship crossed between races during imperialism. After finishing my story, I feel my word choice has become more extensive. For example, I feel my sentence: “The water easily parted ways for the sharp tip of the spear to cut into fish, but my hand was too shaky to aim.” Is one that is very well written and I am very proud of it.
For my book cover, I chose an image of an African man standing within his boat, a man sitting next to him with the sun behinding them turning them into silhouettes, and the standing mans arm out pointing. I chose this design because my story is about a fisherman guiding David Livingstone to Victoria Falls (The largest waterfall in the world), where David Livingstone officially names the falls Victoria Falls. Before their journey, Victoria Falls was called and still is by some “Mosi-oa-Tunya”. In my cover, I am most proud of the way I was able to edit the picture to make the sun in the background orange rather than white. I did this because at Victoria Falls, when the sun sets, the sun turns to a bright orange color. During critic when people said it looked like I just pulled a picture off google images, I took this as a compliment because I was able to change the shade of the sunlight behind the men in a very realistic way. When making my cover, I found it most challenging to choose the colors of my title and text. If I got a chance, I would have liked to add a quote. I did not do this because our teacher said we would take a day to group up so someone could make a quote for your story, but this never happened.
After completing this project, I feel the most important thing I learned that helped me grow personally is the truth about africa, beyond the stereotypes. I feel that this is a huge lesson that I feel was extremely important to learn. Because of this project, I feel I also grew as a writer and project worker. Throughout this project, it was up to us as students to use our time effectively, and I feel I did a pretty good job at keeping myself on task and refocusing myself when I needed to so. Because of this project, I now not only look at Africa differently, but at all things that have single stories and stereotypes.