As we close out this 21-day series, and prepare for the next (yes, there is more of this goodness to come) we end not by looking back, but by looking forward as we examine the life and legacy of the extraordinary writer, Octavia Butler, a Black woman who dared to imagine a future that centered Blackness and the voices and experiences of Black women. The invitation into her sci-fi world was an invitation for all of us to think beyond the drab expectations of a cruel reality that does not see our magic or power, to create a future that makes space for all of our glorious gifts to be on full display.
The godmother of Afrofuturism. Octavia Butler was a pioneer who traveled from the future to warn us and prepare us for a time such as this. She knew what would happen if power went unchecked, if the earth continued to be neglected, and if the wealthy were allowed to cannibalize the poor. She knew. And throughout her illustrious career as a science fiction writer, which included her winning every major award in her field, she tried to warn us. Today we listen. Today we acknowledge that an awkward Black girl with an almost paralyzing shyness was given the gift to foretell the future and that she wrote it all down in a series of masterpieces that literally read like a blueprint for survival.
Disclaimer: We do not own the rights to the music or speech excerpt played during this broadcast. Original content can be found here:
Janelle Monáe – Q.U.E.E.N. feat. Erykah Badu: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEddixS-UoU
Octavia Butler on Charlie Rose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1W9CNwl2e8