5 TED talks by Women of Colour, that Changed my Perspective

For the past 2 years, reading blogs about fun new inspiring things has been my go to pass time. But I’ve been trying to see what else is out there. I started listening to podcasts like The Read, and the Receipts. They were engaging relatable and all in all hilarious, but I wasn’t getting what I needed from them. That’s when I started looking around for TEDtalks. Over the past few weeks I’ve been trying to make an effort to watch at least 2-3 a week. The fact that they aren’t usually academic makes them more of a fun pass time. I find myself watching TED talks based on topics that I’m interested in, such as entrepreneurship, politics, marketing, advocacy for social justice and equality. I always think it’s important to support and to empower groups of people who may not get as much play time as others, so I went a head and made a list of TED talks I think you should watch.

Hope you enjoy!

My Top 5 TED talks that are Led by Women of Colour

1. The Danger of a Single Story // Chimamanda  Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda is a well known Nigerian author. She has written novels like, Americanah, a novel about a Nigerian girl who moved to America, Half of a Yellow Sun, about 1960s Nigeria and the civil war. She has lived in Nigeria, the United States and in the United Kingdom. In her TEDtalk she speaks about the importance or portraying all people in novels and literature. After sharing an anecdote about how she used to write stories about young white girls who played in the snow, she says

“What this demonstrates, I think, is how impressionable and vulnerable we are in the face of a story – particularly  as children.”

She talks about her journey as an author and how she learned to write about the people around her. This was a change that was fed by her discovery for other African authors. She talks about how many times we interact with the people around us, assuming we know their story, just because of the one that we heard about before.

2. My Year of Saying “Yes” to Everything  // Shonda Rhimes

Before watching her TED talk, I read her novel, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person. If you haven’t I definitely suggest doing so! Shonda truly is special. She talks about how the word ‘yes’ changed her life. It helped her get over the fear of public speaking and even improved her social anxiety. I  love Shonda because she’s a dreamer, she knows how to play to her audience. She’s not just a screen writer, she’s a inspirational woman. She speaks in rhetoric that flows and engages you as listener. The poetic flow of her TEDTalk is what makes it one of my favourites.

3. How Childhood Trauma Affects Health across a Lifetime // Nadine Burke Harris

Dr. Burke Harris talks about a study that she spearheaded, The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study otherwise known as ACES. She explains how experiences such as physical emotion or sexual abuse, physical or emotional neglect, physical or mental illness, substance dependence, incarceration, parental separation or divorce, and finally, domestic violence are affecting adults more than just mentally. Though this video touches on some tough topics, I really enjoyed it because it gets you thinking about how important it is to confront these issues early on!

4. How I Defined the Rule of Law // Kimberley Motley

Kimberley Motley is Afghanistan’s first foreigner to open a firm and litigate in Afghan courts. She made it her mission to ensure that the rights of children and women were being fought for. Though the legal system has laws against child marriage, many of them are disregarded. Motley gave a voice to tons of girls and women! Though it is another difficult topic to listen to, her presentation was both motivational and eye opening. It really reminded me that it takes going outside of your comfort zone to make changes.

5. Creating a (Digital) Seat at The Table // Patricia Bright 

Patricia Bright has been my favourite youtuber for just about 3 years now. She has grown so much as an influencer, but in her TED talk she talks about how she grew as a person. She touches on her career struggles, the issues she faced with her university friends and lastly the issues she had with herself. She tells the audience that the only secret to success is being yourself. There are many times that we see the perfect influencer, or actor or artist, but the only way you can differenciate yourself is just by being you.

I hope you enjoy these TED talks as much as I did. I love sharing things about POC and giving Kudos to people who are out there going above and beyond.

I’m always down to find some new TED talks to watc, If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave them below!




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