Fenobia I. Dallas, Ph.D.
Professor of Rhetoric and Professional Writing
Department of Rhetoric & Professional Writing
Saginaw Valley State University
7400 Bay Road
University Center, MI 48710

Science Fiction or the Future?


Octavia Butler

I first encountered the works of Octavia Bulter through a collection of short stories. At the time, I did not get the "full flavor" of Butler, as the collection only contained a short excerpt from Wild Seed. But it was enough to tickle my interest in her works.

Like many other young black girls who were interested in science fiction when we were growing up, our lives centered around NIchelle Nichols playing Uhura on Star Trek. Here was an able, capable, and important member of the crew (who was not a maid nor a cook), whose words and experiences could be construed to be a forerunner of our own lives. The possibilities were endless!

Butler brought to me worlds of expansive possibilities, worlds where the central figure looked, sounded, talked, and acted like me. Worlds of African history melded into African American living. Worlds of agency and centeredness. Worlds of "why not" and "how come?" Butler brought to me LIFE.

In her works, I consider how the arc of history may envelop us, how one day those on the mountain crest may be dashed to the seas, and those treading water may be elevated to the stars. How we can shake the foundation of life's portrayal when we are allowed to construct it. How my vision may be infinitely better than yours...

Butler allowed me to see me on the center stage, where my life and my story was the apex and the genesis of all others. She honored my voice, my style, my needs.

Looking forward to the flipped script.

We talk to understand; we share to inform; and we listen to know better.

This page last updated 2022
by Big Walter
for Blak Kat Productions.
copyright © 1999-2022 | Fenobia I. Dallas