Black to The Future

Hey, PushBlack! Today we’re celebrating the birthday of author Octavia Butler…

Hey, PushBlack! Today we’re celebrating the belated birthday of author Octavia Butler (June 22, 1947 – February 24, 2006). Octavia Butler used fantasy and science fiction to explore the black experience and to break free from the legacies of slavery and colonialism. Whether it’s fiction or reality, the black community has strong connections to the unknown. Actor Levar Burton, star from the TV miniseries Roots and Star Trek: The Next Generation, sums it up well in this two-minute video where he explains how science fiction and space open up a reality, in which “everyone is welcome.” Today, we’re exploring this idea by discussing the connection between astrophysics, science fiction, and freedom.

Flickr user houari_b

This Week in History

“I was paying a lot of attention to education because a lot of my friends were teachers, and the politics of education was getting scarier, it seemed, to me. We were getting to that point where we were thinking more about the building of prisons than of schools and libraries … And what I wanted to write was a novel of someone who was coming up with solutions of a sort.“

– Octavia Butler

The US Department of Defense wants to enter another solar system. Who do they call? A black woman, of course.

Black people have always had strong connections to space, science fiction, and the unknown. Now, first black woman astronaut Mae Jemison looks to continue that legacy by taking us out of this world. Jemison now runs The 100-Year Starship, a project that will figure out how to take make interstellar travel sustainable.


The revolution will be televised…on Star Trek.

Nichelle Nichols recounts how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. convinced her not to quit her role as Uhura on the television show Star Trek. King understood that through her success in a fictional world, Nichelle Nichols was showing the country that it was time to accept black folks in the real world. Watch this interview on how Nichols motivated Whoopi Goldberg to act in the series Star Trek: The Next Generation. Speaking of blacks in space, learn how Star Trek inspired astronaut Ronald McNair in this heartwarming three-minute video.


Song of the Day

This is my planet, I’m ’bout business

The best that ever done it, can I get a witness?

– LL Cool J
Hit Em High by B-Real, Coolio, Method Man, LL Cool J, and Busta Rhymes (Space Jam Soundtrack)


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