The short story “The Thing Around Your Neck” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie begins with Akunna leaving Nigeria for America. At first, she stays with an uncle in Maine. She gets along well with his wife and children. She finds out for the first time of the stereotypes the white people have for Africans.
Akuna leaves after her uncle tries to assault her. She travels to Connecticut, where she takes a job as a waitress in a restaurant. She sends money home, but she does not write letters, so her family does not know where she is or how she is doing. She continues to deal with people’s prejudices, and she gradually learns that life in America is not what she expected it to be.
Akunna meets a young man who seems interested in her and appears to know about her culture. He is white and upper class. He...