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Watch Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discuss Blackness, Transgender Women, and being American at the New Yorker Festival



Watch Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discuss Blackness, Transgender Women, and being American at the New Yorker Festival - BellaNaijaWriter and activist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was a guest at the annual The New Yorker Festival, where she sat with David Remnick to discuss being black in America.

She discussed writing “Americanah,” how she wanted to not follow the rules, how she wanted to write about her take on America.

“Much of the writing about race I just found to be dishonest,” she said, adding that a lot of them were ideological, erasing social construction.

She also discussed being surprised by the blow-back she received after saying there is a difference between trans-women and women who are born female.

“In liberal orthodox, you’re not supposed to say that,” she said. “In the quest for inclusiveness the left is willing to discard a certain kind of complex truth.”

She said there was a quickness to assign ill-intent, and she was surprised as she assumed her place in the world was one that automatically expressed inclusiveness.

She said she felt the backlash was a result of her not using the language she was supposed to use, and people assumed she meant trans people are not a part of feminism.

Watch the discussion below:


  1. iyabo

    October 9, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    :……love u but this hair is a mess tho

    • kina

      October 9, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Love her too could listen to her all day. But THAT HAIR!!!!!!

    • The Real Oma

      October 9, 2017 at 5:47 pm

      My goodness, wait, what?! What’s wrong with her hair? Is that not how Afro hair naturally grows?
      My people accept your own hair and your own skin, live comfortably in them; take back your dignity as unique human beings!

      To quote Ijeoma Umebinyo “You do not exist to please the aesthetics of colonized eyes…”
      (Quote may not be exact but you get the gist)

    • #Proudnigerian

      October 9, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      Only people with ” natural” hair will understand??

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi

      October 9, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      Wetin do the hair oh? *adjusts glasses*

  2. Shalewa

    October 9, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Everything do the hair……having natural hair does not mean matted messy hair.

  3. Author Unknown

    October 9, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    She received a blow-back because you took a firm position on a specific topic within a multi-faceted cause that she had limited information on. That’s how she started to allude to the current government being responsible for naija’s economic woes without pointing out the insane level of corruption of the previous government that is largely responsible, when all she was trying to market was some fashion line. She needs to be reminded that she is on the world stage now, and not in her little village, or in Nigeria. I don’t claim to know anything about trans women because I don’t know one, but what I can imagine is that their struggle must be real. Likely more difficult than that of natural born women. There’s enough room for all in the feminist movement, and must of necessity be so to make strides. I like Chimamanda, but sometimes can’t help but think she should stick to writing, and writing only.

    • Majestic

      October 9, 2017 at 6:58 pm

      Buhari welcome.

    • Author Unknown

      October 9, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      [email protected] Majestic. You no serious.

    • Jennifer

      October 9, 2017 at 8:03 pm

      No. Trans-women do not have more difficult experiences than ‘naturally-born’ women. We all have very unique experiences, which makes our struggle for equal opportunities valid. It takes a lot for public speakers to be very honest and I believe that the reason why Chimamanda resonates or appeals with a lot of people is because she tries to be as honest as possible and not just

    • Funmilola

      October 9, 2017 at 11:00 pm

      Please what struggles do trans women have that’s more than the original women God created?
      You want her to be diplomatic about it ba…..sorry!

    • Author Unknown

      October 10, 2017 at 5:19 am

      @ Jennifer and Funmilola. Sorry, but I’m not talking about biological issues as menstrual cramps and childbirth. I’m talking about issues of equality and acceptance. Hope you get it now.

  4. nnenne

    October 10, 2017 at 1:45 am

    How do you define good hair?
    Good hair is relative. How dare someone else determine for me, what is good hair, or good complexion?
    She carried herself well.
    As long as the hair is clean, that’s all that matters

  5. kina

    October 10, 2017 at 4:52 am

    @the real oma stop acting like u dont know wats the deal. Aint nobody condeming natural hair. Hell i rock natural hair and i known for sure when i roll out of bed with my natural hair it dont look that good that lm gonna walk out my house without sorting it. And it aint just afro hair all kinda hair need grooming yes my dear oyinbo dey groom their hair too ! The poor mentally ill man walking the streets in dirty rages and unkempt hair doesnt know to groom his hair. Also my dear my grandparents groomed their hair with thread, braids etc , that na original black and proud power!!!!. and they looked GOOD wwhile being BLACk and PROUD ( check out drum magazine) If you going to embrace these modern twist and afro styles then at least style your hair to suit your face ( fashion and taste no get race) You dont need to spite your face because you want to prove fake ( foreign idea of afrocentric value thats what results in these riddiculous hair mess. Chiamanda rocks some real good air styles this is not one of them.

  6. passingby

    October 10, 2017 at 8:13 am

    You know when you go to a saloon and you scroll through a magazine for inspiration for a style well considering the shape of my face i wouldnt pick this style she shoulnt have too as it does notting for her. Shes got lovely hair ,texture though. People have a right to comment on celebraties style no need to be militant we are expressing opinions not conviscating ur right to choose gawdawful hair dos

  7. Weezy

    October 10, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    “She said there was a quickness to assign ill-intent, and she was surprised as she assumed her place in the world was one that automatically expressed inclusiveness.”

    What a hypocrite this woman is. So because you are a black woman, you get a pass from being discriminatory? Because you are nigerian, you are automatically inclusive. This woman is so arrogant. I have to LOL at “liberal orthodox” though. Who does Chimamanda think is buying her books? Abi is it conservatives that are giving her a platform.

  8. Shannie

    October 11, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    I like Chimamanda’s honesty. Transwomen are natural born women do have different experiences and nothing is wrong with that. I’m glad that she speaks her mind and whether people get offended or not is their business. I hope she is always honest because I’ve come to realize that there is a lot of truth to what she says.

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