Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Masters in English



First Advisor

Julie Burrell

Second Advisor

Jeff Kareem

Third Advisor

Rachel Carnell


Butler’s choice of using the diary of a young Black girl and of making that Black girl a leader is directly paralleled in real history via diaries, such as The Memphis Diary of Ida B. Wells. Butler’s use of the journaling technique via a Black woman ties the future to the past as the diaries of these influential Black women are read by later generations giving a glimpse of what dreams, hopes, and goals the women had for the Black Community. She further gives cautionary tales of “if-this-continues to-go-on” as a warning for the community to be on its guard, but also to look out for the young women who will become the leaders of tomorrow. Using a journal, Butler ties together Afrofuturism, the history of Black women and the Black Community, and the power of private words in public spaces.

In this thesis, I will demonstrate that Butler’s novels create a full cycle of how Black women’s personal writings are influential by allowing a glimpse of the past, present, and future in the Earthseed series. I will further argue that it is through such Afrofuturist writings that the Black community can envision space that includes them, as both citizens and as leaders. Scholars of Afrofuturism have not discussed the importance of Lauren Olamina’s journals to the authentic Black experience of the future. Scholars of journaling have focused on the individual healing process and not on the uplift of the Black community. By doing so, Butler’s novels have fallen into the cracks and have been left unnoticed in the novels' revelatory meanings.