N.K. Jemisin's Hugo Award Acceptance Speech Is A Must-Watch For All Marginalized Creators

N.K. Jemisin just won her third-in-a-row Hugo Award for Best Novel with The Stone Sky, the last book in her Broken Earth trilogy, and her acceptance speech is perhaps the inspiring video you can watch today. The science fiction author used her acceptance speech as an opportunity to talk about changes in the genre community, including the ways in which it has "grudgingly . . . acknowledg[d] that the dreams of the marginalized matter." I've pulled five of the best quotes from N.K. Jemisin's Hugo Award acceptance speech, because we should all take the time to listen to what she has to say.

N.K. Jemisin became the first black author to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2016, when the first installment of the Broken Earth trilogy, The Fifth Season, took home the award. Jemisin went on to win successive Best Novel Hugos for the next two books in the series, The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky, the latter of which also won the 2018 Nebula Award for Best Novel.

Jemisin's Hugo Award acceptance speech touches on the unique challenges writers of color face in the genre. Check out the five best quotes from her speech below:


"For some of us, things have always been hard, and I wrote the Broken Earth trilogy to speak to that struggle, and what it takes to live, let alone thrive, in a world that seems determined to break you, a world of people who question your competence, your relevance, your very existence."


"Life in a hard world is never just the struggle. Life is family, blood and found. Life is those allies who prove themselves worthy by actions and not just talk. Life means celebrating every victory, no matter how small."


"We creators are the engineers of possibility."


"As this genre finally, however grudgingly, acknowledges that the dreams of the marginalized matter, and that all of us have a future, so will go the world."


"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. I get to smile at those people, and lift a massive, shining, rocket-shaped finger in their direction."