News Brief

Ava DuVernay Is Developing Octavia Butler's 'Dawn' Into a Television Series

Octavia Butler's novel 'Dawn' is being adapted into a television series by Ava DuVernay.

With HBOs recent announcement of the controversial upcoming drama, Confederate, and Will Packer's upcoming Amazon series, Black America, there's no doubt that the genre of speculative fiction is experiencing a major resurgence.


But before all of them, there was the illustrious writer, Octavia Butler, who's sci-fi novels brilliantly reimagined both a past and future for black folks. Today, it's been announced that her 1987 novel Dawn will be developed into a series, produced by 13th director, Ava DuVernay.

Dawn tells the story of Lilith Iyapo, a black woman living in a post-apocalyptic universe, where aliens have taken over the human race. She is the first woman to awake after the nuclear apocalypse and is chosen to lead the quest for survival.

DuVernay is stepping in as executive producer on the show along with Charles D. King. The series will be penned by seasoned television writer Victoria Mahoney.

This is the first Butler book to be adapted into film.

Following the news of Confederate, some pointed out that Butler's seminal work, Kindred, erases the need for a fictional take on the Civil War-era Black experience through the eyes of white men, as Butler offered an exceptional take on that very subject almost 40 years ago.

There's no word yet as to when the series will premiere, but we're excited to hear that it's happening. This is the type of fiction we can get behind.

For more on the impact of Butler's work, read our piece The Butler Effect: How Octavia Butler Changed My Life.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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