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Best-Selling Author Akwaeke Emezi makes TIME’s Next Generation Leaders List

TIME has released the newest class of Next Generation Leaders and Nigeria-born, best-selling author of the critically acclaimed “Freshwater, PET” and “The Death of Vivek Oji“, Akwaeke Emezi is on the list.

The list includes Anthony Ramos (United States), Anna and Mizuki Nakajima (Japan), Mory Sacko (France), Grace Tame (Australia), Iza (Brazil), Yves Moussallam (France), Trevor Stuurman (South Africa), Zarifa Ghafari (Afghanistan), and Kyra Condie (United States).

In Akwaeke’s article tagged “My job in the revolution is as a storyteller: Akwaeke Emezi Is Writing New Possibilities Into Being,” TIME says the writer is “simply no longer interested in projecting false versions of themself—even if disengaging with such a survival mechanism comes with costs. After all, true liberation is priceless.”

About schooling in the U.S, Akwaeke says,

I learned really fast, especially because we were in the South, how to be adorable, how to smile and be really charming [so] that the white people will give you everything.

It was like a survival mask that I put on, where if I seemed harmless then I wouldn’t be hurt or be crushed by the innate white supremacy in all these people.

About their book “PET”:

My job in the revolution is as a storyteller, to take those possibilities and shape them into stories [that] disseminate.

Read the articles on TIME.

Photo Credit: @time.

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