“The problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”Chimamanda Adichie, The danger of a single story
It’s easy to say racism is bad. It’s much harder to stop it.
One way we can do this in our classrooms is by choosing a variety of resources that tell different stories (and not just different versions of the same story.)
Aurora, Snow White, and Cinderella are all versions of the same story about a damsel in distress who is saved by a man.
Rapunzel, Fa Mulan, and Belle save their men.
Moana saves her village and shows that being a female Disney protagonist doesn’t have to be about your romantic interests.
If we look around our classrooms, what stories are we choosing to tell?
I know. We don’t have time or money to find different stories. (But, in the same way that silence is a choice, so is not changing outdated resources.)
Here’s a free citizenship article about building bridges between police officers and disadvantaged youth.
Yes, it challenges some stereotypes.
No, it doesn’t challenge all stereotypes. But, that’s the point. No single story can do that. That’s why we need a variety of stories (and not just a variety of the same single story.)
Changing your resource collection starts one resource at a time. And this one is free until the next 21st Century reading article is published.
Let me know what you think.
PS: Reading strategies don’t have to be only taught using novels and short stories. Here’s a free YouTube video about inferring using text messages.