Octavia E. Butler was an original gangsta/god¹ quirky black girl (QBG). A nerd, an introvert, and empath, Octavia loved to make up stories to entertain herself. She was a loner, sometimes by choice, but not always. Her friends wanted to be like her. In her journals, she talked of little friends who wanted to write stories but their stories were terrible. She was the kind who would tell them so. She wanted them to know their writing was bad so they could work on being better. Most of them weren’t ready for her candor.
Octavia wore what was comfortable and what she could afford. She was big for her age, soft-spoken, and shy with those who didn’t know her but she was the asker of insistent questions of those who did. She was fascinated by religion and at the age of 12 surveyed her friends and family to see what they thought of the existence of god, the afterlife, and Hell. One survey question was “How do you know God is real?” Her mother didn’t answer that question.
Her work in science fiction solidifies her QBG status but it is just the tip of the iceberg. Her way of seeing the world and moving through it showed up in her work. But as they say, life is stranger than fiction. This certified Black girl genius felt the world so deeply she often needed to keep her distance from it. A quirkyalone with literary progeny as well as those of us who claim to be a part of her brood, Butler is a QBG foremother for sure!
QBG Founder & Digital Alchemist for OEB Legacy
¹ OG is slang that commonly means “original gangsta” however, before this became the popular definition, OG also meant Other God, in reference to members of the nations of Gods and Earth.