When I think of #Preservation – I take an unconventional approach. Did James Baldwin or Bessie Smith know they were making history when they got up every morning? I doubt it, but what I do suspect is that they each had a healthy appreciation for recoding and preserving their observations.
One of my favorite authors – Chimamanda Adichie – talks about the “danger of a single story.” The role that preservation plays gives flight to a multidimensional story – oral histories, personal scrapbooks, archival collections and commentaries via social media are some of the most illustrative versions.
“Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the best-selling Nigerian author, wants American readers to know that African writers don’t just write about Africa’s problems. “When we talk about the developing world, there’s this idea that everybody should be fighting for the poor,” she says. Though it might seem obvious to point out, she adds, “people are diverse, and there are different things that are going on with them.”
She calls it the “danger of a single story”—the idea that people living in certain areas of the world all have one kind of experience. Ms. Adichie hopes to show audiences Africa’s range of stories as the co-curator of this year’s PEN World Voices Festival. For the first time, the weeklong literature event, which starts Monday in New York, will have a regional focus. Along with other book-related programs, authors from Africa and its diaspora will speak about topics like how the West misunderstands African culture and the state of Africa’s poetry scene.”