Acclaimed Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie, 41, has been selected as the speaker in the during the Yale’s 2019 Class Day.
Adichie graduated with a Master’s Degree from Yale in African History in 2008.
The Class Day Planning Committee member, Shuyu Song said the writer was selected based on her ability to give a meaningful and memorable address to the class, says Yale Daily News.
“The committee cannot imagine a better speaker to commemorate our four years at Yale than Adichie.
“She is an inspiring global citizen whose words, teaching, and social activism have had an indelible impact on the diaspora and broader contemporary culture,’’ he said.
Most of the Class Day speakers selected in the past have been politicians, including former US secretary of state John Kerry and former US VP Joe Biden, former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power and Democratic nominee for president in 2016 Hillary Clinton.
Adichie had written bestselling books including “We Should All Be Feminists,” “Americanah” and “The Thing Around Your Neck,” which have been translated into more than thirty languages.
She was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2015 and one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders in 2017.
Adichie graduated summa cum laude from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2001 with a degree in communication and political science.
She also has a master’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University and honorary doctorates from Haverford College, Williams College, the University of Edinburgh, Duke University and Amherst College, among others.
The writer also received a fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation in 2008, by which she was recognized as “a young writer who illuminates the complexities of human experience in works inspired by events in her native Nigeria.”
She published her first collection of stories, “The Thing Around Your Neck,” in 2009, followed by “Americanah,” which was selected as one of the 10 best books of 2013 by The New York Times and in 2017 as the winner of the New York City mayor’s office’s One Book, One New York program.
Adichie’s 2009 TED talk titled “The Danger of a Single Story” garnered upwards of 15 million views, making it one of the top 10 most-viewed TED videos.
In 2012, Adichie delivered a TEDx talk “We Should All Be Feminists” about her views on gender and sexuality. Parts of the talk were later incorporated into Beyonce’s 2013 song, “Flawless.”