2. Designer Rachel Stewart has a line of jewelry inspired by Octavia Butler.
With necklaces called “Kindred” and “Wild Seed,” and earrings called “Lilith’s Brood,” the characters and works of Octavia Butler inspired this unique collection from Rachel Stewart.
3. There is an Octavia E. Butler Society.
Spelman College, home to the Octavia E. Butler Society, also hosted The Octavia E. Butler Celebration of Arts & Activism which focused on Afrofuturism, and has offered a lit course called “Butler’s Daughters: Imagining Leadership in Black Speculative Fiction.” Academia loves Octavia.
4. Octavia Butler had a form of dyslexia that was not recognized at the time.
Some of her teachers thought she was “unwilling to do the work.” However, one teacher recognized her talent and typed out her first short story submission. Today, her novel Kindred is read in high school and college classes.
11. The Carl Brandon Society has a scholarship in her honor.
The Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund allows the recipient to attend one of the Clarion writing workshops. Butler attended Clarion West and was the only African American writer in her workshop.
12. Octavia Butler has influenced many writers and artists such as Junot Diaz, Valjeanne Jeffers, Nnedi Okorafor, and Janelle Monáe.
They cite her as a major influence in their activism and art, as she was the first African American woman to dominate the science fiction genre. Her writing highlighted social inequality, especially when it came to race and gender.
15. The term “Afrofuturism” would not be coined until 46 years after her birth.
Afrofuturism, a term often associated with the works of Octavia Butler, was coined by Mark Dery in his 1993, and described in his essay “Black to the Future” as “speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses African-American concerns in the context of 20th century technoculture — and more generally, African-American signification that appropriates images of technology and a prosthetically enhanced future.”
16. The manuscript of Unexpected Stories was discovered by Octavia’s agent, Merrilee Heifetz.
Originally written in the early 1970s, and discovered among the author’s papers at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, Unexpected Stories includes the novella “A Necessary Being” and the story “Childminder,” each a posthumous gift from an amazing author.
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