Name: Octavia Butler
Basics: Butler was a writer that thrived in a genre dominated mostly by white males. That genre was science fiction and at the time it wasn’t heard of for a woman, let alone a black woman, to want to be a part of that sector of writing. For those who might not take her writing skills seriously, Butler studied her craft alongside the likes of Harlan Ellison. She was a trailblazer for people of color who wanted to participate in speculative fiction. Butler’s work took a genre that many used for fantastical adventures and turned its focus to the human struggle, primarily struggles of race.
Why I Chose Her: I think Octavia Butler is an amazing example of what it means to step outside the box. African-Americans are so often put into stereotypes and are expected to do certain things. Being interested in science fiction and fantasy often isn’t one of those things. But not only did Butler show interest in these things, she excelled at the writing of them. She wrote with a complexity and depth many of her white peers only wished they could have.