BDCWire Staff

Ellen O'Leary Staff

Stories by Ellen O'Leary

This author has a powerful piece of advice for girls

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, best-selling author and famed TED-talker, has some thoughts on aiming to please: specifically, don’t do it.

GirlsWriteNow recently honored Adichie, along with Juju Chang and Pamela Paul. At the event, Adichie made some comments, both powerful and empowering, about writing as a female.


The message? Forget likability.

Adichie said that young girls, but also women, acutely feel the burden of pleasing others. Whether this leads girls to censor their ideas or to not write them down at all, it’s a loss.


Adichie’s feminism doesn’t come as a surprise. Her novels, all highly acclaimed, explore Adichie’s Nigerian roots and the implications of female-ness in that context. She also wrote a non-fiction work called We Should All Be Feminists and delivered a TED talk with the same title.

Though the speech was aimed at young creatives, her words clearly apply for anyone, anywhere, doing anything. Essentially, “do you.”

Watch the full speech below:

This teen wanted to come out in his graduation speech. Instead he did it on national television.

A few weeks ago Evan Young, valedictorian of Twin Peaks Charter School in Colorado, was barred from delivering his graduation speech.

Though he probably would have preferred giving the speech at his May 16 graduation, the 18-year-old recently  delivered it to a slightly larger audience than his 30-person high school class: the thousands of viewers of The Nightly Show.