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The gatekeepers of publishing keep marginalized people from getting their work out there. Jemisin is proof that this practice needs to end.

N.K. Jemisin just won her third Hugo award in a row accomplishing something that no other author in history has done. This wasn't a fluke, this wasn't a one off, Jemisin is proving that the stories Black women have to tell aren't just for other Black women. They're creative, powerful, and worth your time and money. Science fiction and fantasy have been genres dominated by white boys since time immemorial. Why? Not sure, since people from all across the spectrum have been creating spectacular work in the genre. Jemisin has come out to stop this erasure of diverse voices by taking home the Hugo Award not once, not twice, but three times in a row — a feat that has never been done before, not even by the most famous and prolific white boys. Jemisin has won the last three years since 2016, each year for a book in her Broken Earth trilogy, the first of which is being developed into a series for TNT. This accomplishment is amazing but also shows that Black women have been creating powerful and memorable works that deserve a space in larger, more mainstream arenas, something Jemisin highlighted in her acceptance speech on Sunday:This is the year in which I get to smile at all of those naysayers: every single mediocre, insecure wannabe who fixes their mouth to suggest that I do not belong on this stage, that people like me cannot possibly have earned such an honor, and that when they win it’s meritocracy, but when we win it’s identity politics,” she said. “I get to smile at those people and lift a massive shining rocket-shaped finger in their direction.” Maybe this doesn't seem important if you think that science fiction and fantasy is just entertainment, but it's not. It is, at its heart a political and revolutionary genre. Sure there are aliens and ray guns but the work has always been about the human experience, our fears, our hopes. The problem is that the majority of the work that is considered classic, that gets notice and notoriety has been focused on the fears and hopes of white men, leaving out the entire spectrum of culture and reality that anyone else has to offer.
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With the release of “A Wrinkle In Time”, young Black girls will get to see someone that looks like them be a hero.

This year, a Black girl will get to save the world in the science fantasy film “A Wrinkle In Time".  The movie is a landmark achievement for inclusive science fiction and fantasy (SFF) films thanks to its director Ava DuVernay, who adapted the children's book written by Madeleine L'Engle. Not only do we get a Black female protagonist played by Storm Reid, but we also get Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling in prominent roles.  To understand how remarkable this film is, consider the fact that it was just last year that women of color were starring in prominent SFF film franchises. In the Marvel superhero film “Thor Ragnarok”, Tessa Thompson played the warrior Valkyrie. Meanwhile, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” features Kelly Marie Tran as Rico Tico, a member of a group of rebels called the Resistance. Although we've had women of color starring in major SFF television series such as “Star Trek” and “The Walking Dead”, they are only recently getting a major presence in SFF films. Besides last year's releases and the upcoming film “Black Panther”, it is difficult for me to recall many SFF films with a woman of color protagonist. Off the top of my head, the films I can name include “Pacific Rim”, “Moana”, and ”Advantageous”. Based on the fabulous trailers for the film, “A Wrinkle In Time” recalls the trailers for “Thor Ragnarok”, which conveys the similar feelings of an epic fantasy adventure. It is worth noting that “Thor Ragnarok” was directed by an Indigenous person, Taika Waititi. The success of Thor’s third installment shows the importance of having people of color on-screen and behind the scenes.
Related: BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION BROUGHT OUT MY MOST MAGICAL SELF

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