Bookish Stuff

14 Chimamanda Quotes About Feminism, Race, Love & Everything In Between.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one of Africa’s most talented writers. Her prose flows, her words stay with you, long after you’ve read them and her characters are firm solid people with plethora of emotions.

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Here is a compilation of 12 quotes about
race, love, feminism and all other things in between.

1.  This one about feminism and female ambition.

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to
make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now, marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why
do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think
can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”

 

― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie , 
We Should All Be Feminists.

2. This one about men and lovers.

“You must never behave as if your life
belongs to a man. Do you hear me?” Aunty Ifeka said. “Your life belongs to you and you alone.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie , Half of a Yellow Sun.

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3. This one about natural hair.

“Relaxing your hair is like being in prison. You’re caged in. Your hair rules you. You didn’t go running with Curt today because you don’t want to sweat out this straightness. You’re always battling to make your hair do what it wasn’t meant to do.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie , Americanah.

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4. This quote about how society antagonises unmarried women.

“A woman at a certain age who is
unmarried, our society teaches her to see it as a deep personal failure. And a man, after a certain age isn’t married, we just think he hasn’t come around to making his pick.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie , We Should All Be Feminists.

5.  Another one about how society is sceptical about powerful women.

“But here is a sad truth: Our world is full of men and women who do not like powerful women. We have been so conditioned to think of power as male that a powerful woman is an aberration. And so she is policed. We ask of powerful women: Is she humble? Does she smile? Is she grateful enough? Does she have a domestic side? Questions we do not ask of powerful men, which shows that our discomfort is not with power itself, but with women. We judge powerful women more harshly than we judge powerful men. And Feminism Lite enables this.”
– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie,
Dear Ijeawele or Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions.

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6. This one about Hypermasculinity and how society make life tough for men and boys.

Masculinity is a hard, small cage and we put boys inside this cage.”
– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie,
We Should All Be Feminists.

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7. This one about letting yourself feel and being at ease with oneself in love.

“She rested her head against his and felt, for the first time, what she would often feel with him: a self-affection. He made her like herself. With him, she was at ease; her skin felt as though it was her right size.. It seemed so natural, to talk to him about odd
things. She had never done that before. The trust, so sudden and yet so complete, and the intimacy, frightened her.. But now she could think only of all the things she yet wanted to tell him, wanted to do with him.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie , Americanah

8. This one about migration caused by hunger and craving for the preference and the great perhaps.

“Alexa and the other guests, and perhaps even Georgina, all understood the fleeing from war, from the kind of poverty that crushed human souls, but they would not understand the need to escape from the oppressive lethargy of choicelessness. They would not understand why people like him
who were raised well fed and watered but mired in dissatisfaction, conditioned from birth to look towards somewhere else, eternally convinced that real lives happened in that somewhere else, were now resolved to do dangerous things, illegal
things, so as to leave, none of them
starving, or raped, or from burned villages, but merely hungry for for choice and certainty.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie , Americanah.

9. This one about being satisfied, yet somehow sad in an affair.

“That her relationship with him was like
being content in a house but always sitting by the window and looking out”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie , Americanah

10. Another one about the society-imposed burden of masculinity.

“But by far the worst thing we do to males —by making them feel they have to be hard —is that we leave them with very fragile egos. The harder a man feels compelled to be, the weaker his ego is.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie , We Should All Be Feminists.

11. This one about looking within oneself and feeling that something may not be right.

“There was something wrong with her. She did not know what it was but there was something wrong with her. A hunger, a restlessness. An incomplete knowledge of herself. The sense of something farther away, beyond her reach.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie , Half of a Yellow Sun.

12. Another one on love and belonging.

“Is love this misguided need to have you beside me most of the time? Is love this safety I feel in our silences? Is it this belonging, this completeness?”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie , Half of a Yellow Sun.

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13. This one about how people disapprove of feminism.

“You know, you’re a feminist.” It was not a compliment. I could tell from his tone—the same tone with which a person would say, “You’re a supporter of terrorism.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie , We Should All Be Feminists.  

14. And finally, this one about racism.

“Finally, don’t put on a Let’s Be Fair tone and say “But black people are racist too.” Because of course we’re all prejudiced (I can’t even stand some of my blood relatives, grasping, selfish folks), but racism is about the power of a group and in America it’s white folks who have that power. How? Well, white folks don’t get treated like shit in upper-class African-American communities and white folks
don’t get denied bank loans or mortgages precisely because they are white and black juries don’t give white criminals worse sentences than black criminals for the same crime and black police officers don’t stop white folk for driving while white and black companies don’t choose not to hire
somebody because their name sounds white and black teachers don’t tell white kids that they’re not smart enough to be doctors and black politicians don’t try some tricks to
reduce the voting power of white folks
through gerrymandering and advertising agencies don’t say they can’t use white models to advertise glamorous products because they are not considered “aspirational” by the “mainstream.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie , Americanah.

Which of these quotes resonated with you the most?

Which Adichie book is your favourite?

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11 thoughts on “14 Chimamanda Quotes About Feminism, Race, Love & Everything In Between.”

  1. Best til last… No. 14…such a seamless written illustration of how racism Is a system that has long since been embedded across all societal structures.

    Like

  2. She’s good! Her preachings about feminism will destroy a lot of marriages. Just my thought.. I can’t stand a wife who think she’s equal to me.

    Like

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