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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.

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Photo courtesy of Junior Achievement Africa

Tonight, Come Join Junior Achievement Africa in New York City

Frank Aswani, Special Advisor for Strategic Initiatives at Higherlife Foundation will be giving the keynote speech at the Facebook offices about investing in Africa's future.

Sponsored content from Junior Achievement Africa

In just 15 years, Africa will have the largest workforce in the world. How we prepare them now will determine the course of our businesses and our economies.

JA Africa is moving the needle of youth economic empowerment in Africa, bridging the gap between education and the world of work through: Entrepreneurship education, Financial literacy and Workforce-readiness. Over 240,000 students are equipped each year with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed in the workforce and take on business leadership in the future.

Photo courtesy of Junior Achievement Africa

Join JA Africa, Facebook and OkayAfrica for an evening to learn why youth economic empowerment is important in Africa and how you too can invest in Africa's future. You will hear the stories of JA Africa alumni—brilliant young Africans who are changing the trajectory of the continent.

Our keynote speaker, Frank Aswani, Special Advisor for Strategic Initiatives at Higherlife Foundation, will also be speaking about the importance of work and economic growth for youth. Until last month, Frank led the Business Development team at African Leadership Academy delivering on corporate partnerships, network development and managing strategic relationships.

We hope to see you this Friday, September 21st at 6:30 PM at Facebook's office: 225 Park Avenue South. Email juniorachievementafrica@eventsatfacebook.com with your full name and email address to RSVP.

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Photo: Zahara Abdul.

The Spirit of Nyege Nyege, Africa's Best Underground Music Festival

It was a non-stop four-day celebration of music, art and culture.

The thousands of local and foreign party-goers who made their way to the Nile Discovery Beach Resort in Jinja, Uganda for this year's MTN Nyege Nyege festival had a weekend of intense fun in store for them

Upon arrival, visitors are greeted by the town's most significant geographical sight. Jinja Town prides itself of sitting right along the northern shores of Lake Victoria, next to the source of the River Nile. From several parts of the district, one can get a stunning view of the famous river as it starts its journey to the Mediterranean Sea.

The annual four-day festival also breathes life into this otherwise laid-back and charming town. With the introduction of MTN as a sponsor, Nyege Nyege promised a bigger and better event. This would include a venue tripled in size, with two additional stages (Spirit of UG stage and Dark Star Stage) and a larger self-contained camping area. For those who do not favour camping, there were several hotels and guesthouses near the city centre, a few minutes by motorcycle taxi (bodaboda) to the venue.

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Mannywellz & Adekunle Gold's 'Yeoo' Will Soundtrack Your Weekend

You're going to have this one on repeat.

Mannywellz is a buzzing Nigerian-born artist whose music blends influences from hip-hop, RnB and West African rhythms. His recent Soulfro EP has earned him millions of streams online and he's even opened for Jidenna on tour across the US.

Manny is now sharing his latest single "Yeoo," an uplifting and addictive remix of his Soulfro standout track that sees him link up with Nigeria's Adekunle Gold.

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