Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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- “ We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men.We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are".
- “ I think you travel to search and you come back home to find yourself there."Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Quotes.
- “ The only reason you say that race was not an issue is because you wish it was not. We all wish it was not. But it’s a lie. I came from a country where race was not an issue; I did not think of myself as black and I only became black when I came to America. When you are black in America and you fall in love with a white person, race doesn’t matter when you’re alone together because it’s just you and your love. But the minute you step outside, race matters. But we don’t talk about it. We don’t even tell our white partners the small things that piss us off and the things we wish they understood better, because we’re worried they will say we’re overreacting, or we’re being too sensitive. And we don’t want them to say, Look how far we’ve come, just forty years ago it would have been illegal for us to even be a couple blah blah blah, because you know what we’re thinking when they say that? We’re thinking why the fuck should it ever have been illegal anyway? But we don’t say any of this stuff. We let it pile up inside our heads and when we come to nice liberal dinners like this, we say that race doesn’t matter because that’s what we’re supposed to say, to keep our nice liberal friends comfortable. It’s true. I speak from experience
- “I don’t think sexism is worse than racism, it’s impossible even to compare…It’s that I feel lonely in my fight against sexism, in a way that I don’t feel in my fight against racism. My friends, my family, they get racism, they get it. The people I’m close to who are not black get it. But I find that with sexism you are constantly having to explain, justify, convince, make a case for.”
- On why sexism is at times a more difficult argument for her than racism in “Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: ‘This could be the beginning of a revolution’” in The Guardian (2018 Apr 28)
- “I don’t think I’m more inherently likely to do domestic work, or childcare ... It doesn’t come pre-programmed in your vagina, right?”
- On how she views gender as a social construct in “Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: ‘This could be the beginning of a revolution’” in The Guardian (2018 Apr 28)
- “Because we write fiction we mine our souls. Of course you put yourself into your fiction, your fiction is you.”
- On the connection between the personal and fictional world in “Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: ‘This could be the beginning of a revolution’” in The Guardian (2018 Apr 28)
- "In Nigeria I'm not black…We don't do race in Nigeria. We do ethnicity a lot, but not race. My friends here don't really get it. Some of them sound like white Southerners from 1940. They say, 'Why are black people complaining about race? Racism doesn't exist!' It's just not a part of their existence."
- On how views of race differ in Nigeria than the United States in “Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: ‘I Wanted To Claim My Own Name’” in Vogue (2015 Nov 3)
- "My father tells a story about his father dying in a refugee camp. His father was a titled man in Igboland, which meant that he was a great man. He had one of the highest titles a man could have. But his hometown fell, so he had to leave and go to a refugee camp, and he died and he was buried in a mass grave. Which is just heartbreaking for a man, particularly a man like him. My father, who's the first son, and who takes his responsibilities very seriously, couldn't go to bury his father because the roads were occupied. He was in a different part of Biafra and so it took a year until ... he could go to the refugee camp. ... And he goes there and he says, 'I want to know where my father was buried.' And somebody waved very vaguely and said, 'Oh we buried the people there.' So it was a mass grave. So many people had died. And my father says he went there and he took a handful of sand, and he said he's kept the sand ever since. For me, that was one of the most moving things I had ever heard."
- On how warfare in Nigeria affected her family in “'Americanah' Author Explains 'Learning' To Be Black In The U.S.” in NPR (2013 Jun 27)