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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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Given the racism found in speculative fiction as well as the lack of onscreen Black representation, the adaptation Nnedi Okorafor's “Who Fears Death” should be celebrated instead of overshadowed.

By Latonya Pennington Nnedi Okorafor is one of the most successful Black speculative fiction writers in existence today. Last year, she won a Hugo award and a Nebula award for her sci-fi novella “Binti”. Now, her post apocalyptic SFF book “Who Fears Death” is going to be adapted into an HBO television series. Yet, VICE magazine decided to make this accomplishment about author and executive producer, George R.R. Martin. First, let me start off by saying George R.R. Martin is not to blame for this. VICE magazine probably thought no one would read the piece if they put the name of a lesser known Black female writer first. Therefore, they used Martin's fame in order to get clicks and views. Not only is this disrespectful, but it is racist. By putting Martin's name before Okorafor's and cropping Okorafor's name off her own book cover, VICE has made it seem like a black female writer needed help from a super famous white male author. In other words, Martin is positioned as a white savior to a Nigerian-American author.
Related: TNT’S “CLAWS” CELEBRATES BLACK WOMEN’S SEXUALITY

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