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Why should you read sci-fi superstar Octavia E. Butler? - Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey

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Much science fiction features white male heroes who blast aliens or become saviors of brown people. Octavia E. Butler knew she could tell a better story. She built stunning worlds rife with diverse characters, and brought nuance and depth to the representation of their experiences. Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey dive into the works of the visionary storyteller who upended science fiction.

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Ayana Jamieson, Moya Bailey
  • Director Tomás Pichardo-Espaillat
  • Narrator Christina Greer
  • Animator Tomás Pichardo-Espaillat
  • Composer Cem Misirlioglu
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Associate Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Script Editor Iseult Gillespie
  • Fact-checker Eden Girma
Additional Resources for you to Explore
While Devil Girl from Mars inspired Octavia E. Butler to beg her mother for a typewriter, it is her writing that has inspired others to celebrate her legacy in a myriad of different ways. Ava DuVernay and Charles King have the rights to Butler’s book Dawn and plan to make it a television Series. Adrienne Maree Brown and Walidah Imarisha created the collection Octavia’s Brood which features social justice activists writing their own science fiction to address the challenges of our day. Parable of the Sower has been transformed into an Opera by legendary folk artists Toshi Reagon and her mother Bernice Johnson Reagon. And there’s us, Ayana and Moya who are helping to keep this network of people working in Octavia Butler’s legacy connected.

To learn more about Octavia E. Butler’s work, check out her archive at the Huntington Library.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Ayana Jamieson, Moya Bailey
  • Director Tomás Pichardo-Espaillat
  • Narrator Christina Greer
  • Animator Tomás Pichardo-Espaillat
  • Composer Cem Misirlioglu
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Associate Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Script Editor Iseult Gillespie
  • Fact-checker Eden Girma