Chimamanda Adichie Makes History As First Black Woman Speaker In A Top US University

Chimamanda Adichie Makes History

Chimamanda Adichie, the award-winning Nigerian author is on the verge of becoming the very first black woman to give a speech at a top US University, The University of Pennsylvania.

Such a speech was last delivered in 1978 by the then Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Patricia Harris.

A statement from African Facts Zone reads;

“In May 2020, Chimamanda Adichie will become the first black woman since 1978 to deliver a commencement speech…”

Upon this announcement, students at the University of Pennsylvania ranked among the top 8 Ivy League Universities in the United States busted into wild celebration. Also, Chimamanda, the author of ‘Americanah’ would receive the ‘Doctor of Humane Letter’ (LHD) from the university. The event is slated for May 2020.

This prestigious award is only given to professionals who have recorded successes in their chosen areas of human endeavors and it is, therefore, the university’s highest degree. This is according to the President of the University of Pennsylvania.

A statement from the university said Chimamanda Adichie has distinguished herself by her fascinating commentary and compelling works which are impactful on complex cultural issues and promoting the power of the individual voice.

A student newspaper on the institution, Daily Pennsylvania reported on the praises and Buzz of the staff and students of the university.

Natasha Menon, an Undergraduate Assembly President said;

“The way she’s able to tell stories and talk about really pressing issues is pretty extraordinary.”

Besides, College Senior, Maria Curry also added that Chimamanda’s status as a writer adds diversity to the University’s past commencement speakers which had featured entertainers and politicians.

Recall that in 2019, Chimamanda Adichie was hosted by Trevoh Noah on his ‘The Daily Show’ where the writer spoke on chivalry and surprised several people when she said that door opening should not be a gender issue.

She said further;

“I think gestures like holding the door should not be gender-based. I think it is a good thing to hold the door but we should hold the door for everyone.

“Like, I hold the door for women and men. And so I think the idea of someone holding the door for a woman because she is a woman…I have an issue with it.

“Because chivalry is really about the idea that women are somehow weak and need protecting, Chimamanda said.

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Olabisi Veronica
Olabisi is a gist/news reporter for ThriveNaija. Get in touch [email protected]