I’m asked, what good is science fiction to Black people?
What good is any form of literature to Black people? What good is science fiction’s thinking about the present, the future, and the past? What good is its tendency to warn or to consider alternative ways of thinking and doing? What good is its examination of the possible effects of science and technology or social organization and political direction? At its best, science fiction stimulates imagination and creativity. It gets reader and writer off the beaten track, off the narrow, footpath of what “everyone” is saying, doing, thinking-whoever “everyone” happens to be this year. And what good is all this to Black people?
—Octavia Butler, “Positive Obsession,” Blood Child and Other Stories, pg 134-135.