Language and communication acquire a particular meaning in African American literature and culture due to the experience of slavery, as it was a punishable crime for Black people to read or write. Octavia E. Butler also responds to the legacy of slavery by investigating the importance of language and communication in her work, particularly in some of her short stories which anticipate the blending of science fiction, historical materialism, and fantasy that characterize what is now commonly referred to as Afrofuturism. Her emphasis on language represents the need to strive for a difficult, complex co-existence, which can be achieved through negotiation, translation, and mediation, no matter how complicated such tasks might be. In the present climate of racism and hatred that manifests itself through the dehumanizing policies that Black people, migrants, and refugees face throughout the world today, these stories offer a timely reflection on literacy and negotiation as tools of resistance. They are also what is necessary to maintain hope even in extreme conditions of oppression.

Dealing with Oppression and Hybridity in Octavia E. Butler’s Critical Dystopian Short Stories

Baccolini, Raffaella
2022

Abstract

Language and communication acquire a particular meaning in African American literature and culture due to the experience of slavery, as it was a punishable crime for Black people to read or write. Octavia E. Butler also responds to the legacy of slavery by investigating the importance of language and communication in her work, particularly in some of her short stories which anticipate the blending of science fiction, historical materialism, and fantasy that characterize what is now commonly referred to as Afrofuturism. Her emphasis on language represents the need to strive for a difficult, complex co-existence, which can be achieved through negotiation, translation, and mediation, no matter how complicated such tasks might be. In the present climate of racism and hatred that manifests itself through the dehumanizing policies that Black people, migrants, and refugees face throughout the world today, these stories offer a timely reflection on literacy and negotiation as tools of resistance. They are also what is necessary to maintain hope even in extreme conditions of oppression.
2022
Gender Utopias for a Post-Apocalyptic World
81
98
Baccolini, Raffaella
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/895423
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