Afrofuturism is a type of cultural perspective that views the connection of African culture with technology and sci-fi. Nowadays it seems to be everywhere represented, and mostly played into blockbusters and radio. But long before this therm was mainstream, and way before Black Panther and Janelle Monae, there was the work of Octavia E. Butler.
Butler’s novels and short stories tended to approach four themes: a critique of modern-day social structure, daily violence, everyday survival, and diversity. These themes were present in the landscapes shaped by fantasy. She was mainly inspired by the Black Power movement and the six-week Clarion’s Science Fiction Writer’s Workshop.
Butler was very aware of the variety of situations she could address as a writer, so she experimented with gene manipulation, mutation, interbreeding, hybridity, alien contact, and more, to shape characters built by sociobiological violence.
The alternative communities she created from African race and cultural diversity, but extraterrestrial and other fantasy elements built a steady path of science fiction.
The majority of Butler’s work was published in the 70s and 80s. Her work was adapted into an opera, a graphic novel, and even a TV show. Butler is without a doubt, the mother of Afrofuturism.