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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Discusses Blackness and How The American Left "Is Creating Its Own Decline"

The acclaimed writer shared her thoughts on the American left during a panel discussion with The New Yorker.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie sat down for a conversation with The New Yorker last Friday, where she discussed the writing process of her seminal book, Americanah, fighting racism in the United States in the age of Trump, the concept of "blackness," and most notably her thoughts on the state of the "American Left."


Speaking with The New Yorker editor David Remnick, Adichie shared her thoughts on, what she referred to as, "the left that is heard." She critiqued those who identify as part of this group for failing to unify and work together, contrasting that with what she believes is the right's ability to move in solidarity.

"I almost feel as though the left is creating its own decline. I think the left doesn't know how to be a tribe, in the way the right does," she said. "The left is very cannibalistic. It eats its own."

She went on to clarify, that it's not leftist ideals that she disagrees with, but rather, what she considers, the impractical rules by which the stance operates.

"There's something to be said, of course, for ideals, and I believe very much in that," Adichie said. "There can be an extremist idea of purity. It's so easy to fall afoul of the ridiculously high standard set there."

She was then asked about her personal experience, dealing with criticism from the left. She discussed an incident that occurred earlier this year when she came under fire for controversial statements she made about trans women. "In the quest for inclusiveness, the left is willing to discard a certain kind of complex truth. I think there's a quickness to assign ill intent," she said in response to the backlash she received at the time.

"The response is not to debate, the response is to silence."

Adichie went on to discuss how she came to terms with the idea of "blackness"—a concept, she says, was unfamiliar to her growing up in Nigeria. "It took reading and learning, and kind of concisely taking on that identity, which I think in many ways is also a political identity."

Watch the full conversation below.

Photo courtesy of 1-54/SUTTON.

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Landing in Marrakech is 2018's Most Anticipated Art Event

The leading art fair dedicated to contemporary African art makes its mark on the continent for the first time this weekend.

This weekend, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, the leading art fair devoted to contemporary African art, will debut in Marrakech, Morocco. The announcement of the Fair's expansion to the continent last year has left aficionados of contemporary African art in eager anticipation of this "homecoming"—this author included.

1-54 debuted in London in 2013. Although an expansion to New York followed, a presence on the continent was always part of the long-term vision of the founder Touria El Glaoui. Finally, the time has now arrived.

Here are five reasons why we're looking forward to 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Marrakech.

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This Olympic Figure Skater Blew Us Away Again By Pulling Off a Costume Change Mid-Routine

First Maé-Bérénice Méité performed to Beyoncé, now she's effortlessly slaying outfit changes mid-routine. What can't she do?

French-Congolese and Ivorian figure skater, Maé-Bérénice Méité, has pretty much been the life of the Winter Olympic figure skating competition.

Earlier this month, the athlete had the internet shook when she performed her opening routine to two Beyoncé songs. Now she's back with even more black girl magic.

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Video still via YouTube.

10 Stand Out Moments From Janelle Monáe's Powerful Music Videos

Janelle Monae came back making a statement—and we're just as obsessed as you are.

We've got to talk about Janelle Monáe.

Over the past half decade, she's embarked on a profound journey that's solidified her as an artist, creator and activist who isn't afraid to shoot down the stars—or shoot with them.

After having roles in Hidden Figures and Moonlight—two Oscar nominated movies where one won an Oscar, a stellar speech at the Grammy's and a stunning presence at the Black Panther red carpet, she's ready to grace us with "Dirty Computer," the latest musical venture in her Afrofuturistic saga.

To whet our appetites before the album, which is set to release on April 27, Janelle dropped not one but two music videos yesterday. Both are distinctly entertaining: one is a black, intersectional feminist anthem and the other a psychedelic soundtrack of sexual fluidity.

Watch both, then read some of the highlights we gathered from the hypnotizing visuals and powerful wordplay.

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