2021-02-23 12:24:02

Remembering Octavia Butler: Black Sci-Fi Writer Shares Cautionary Tales In Unearthed 2005 Interview

As Democracy Now! marks 25 years on the air, we are revisiting some of the best and most impactful moments from the program’s history, including one of the last television interviews given by the visionary Black science-fiction writer Octavia Butler.

She spoke to Democracy Now! in November 2005, just three months before she died on February 24, 2006, at age 58.

Butler was the first Black woman to win Hugo and Nebula awards for science-fiction writing and the first science-fiction writer to receive a MacArthur “genius” fellowship.

Her best-known books include the classics Kindred, as well as Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents — two-thirds of a trilogy that was never finished. Her work inspired a new generation of Black science-fiction writers, and she has been called the Mother of Afrofuturism.

Her 2005 interview with Democracy Now! took place shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and as President George W. Bush was overseeing the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When asked how she set out to become a science-fiction writer when there were so few examples of Black women working in the genre, Butler said she never doubted her abilities. “I assumed that I could do it,” she said. “I wasn’t being brave or even thoughtful. I wanted it. And I assumed I could have it.”

Democracy Now! produces a daily, global, independent news hour hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González. lOur reporting includes breaking daily news headlines and in-depth interviews with people on the front lines of the world’s most pressing issues. 

On DN!, you’ll hear a diversity of voices speaking for themselves, providing a unique and sometimes provocative perspective on global events.

Missed an episode?  Check out DN on FSTV VOD anytime or visit the show page for the latest clips.

#FreeSpeechTV is one of the last standing national, independent news networks committed to advancing progressive social change. 

#FSTV is available on Dish, DirectTV, AppleTV, Roku, Sling, and online at freespeech.org.

Amy Goodman Democracy Now! Free Speech TV Hugo Awards Kindred MacArthur Genius Fellowship Nebula Awards Octavia Butler Parable of the Sower Parable of the Talents Science-Fiction United States

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