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Afrofuturism and Transhumanism: New Insights into the African American Identity in Octavia Butler’s Dawn

Sami Abdullah Al-Nuaimi, Zainor Izat Zainal, Mohammad Ewan Awang and Noritah Omar

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 29, Issue 2, June 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjssh.29.2.13

Keywords: Afrofuturism, Dawn, identity, Octavia Butler, transhumanism

Published on: 28 June 2021

Afrofuturism offers visions about different aspects of African Americans’ future. Combining the elements of Afrofuturism and Transhumanism can allow new and vast paths to argue about African Americans’ future. Octavia Butler (1947-2006) is among those authors who wanted a better future for her people. In Dawn (1987), she presents the future of an African American protagonist – Lilith, whose identity is scientifically fictionalised and intermingled with hope for a better future. This study critically examines the traits and the role of the protagonist. It aims to investigate how Butler’s transhumanist protagonist’s portrayal is necessary to pursue the demarginalisation of African American’s future identity. In this respect, we adopt the Afrofuturistic sense of utilising knowledge and science of Ytasha Womack in discussing Afrofuturism, as well as Nick Bostrom’s transhumanistic perspective on the necessity of body enhancements to extend humanism.

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ISSN 0128-7702

e-ISSN 2231-8534

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