The year 1966 marked Stokely Carmichael's first invocation of "Black Power" and the birth of the Black Panthers in Oakland. As a student at Pasadena City College in the late 1960s Octavia Butler encountered the politics of a growing student Black Power movement—a memorable moment in her literary and political development which marks the genesis of her novel, Kindred. The student political movement Butler encountered and participated in at Pasadena City College became a microcosm for debates playing out on the national stage, as strategic questions of resistance rose to prominence, including the right to self-defense, interracial relationships and solidarity, and the efficacy of direct action and negotiation as political strategies. Published a decade later, Kindred is Butler's attempt to resolve her "sixties feelings" and her conflicted views on the political movements of the period while grappling with the cost of their demise. In this article, I analyze Kindred as a meditation on political debates that arose from the Black Power movement, exploring how the novel engages with the debates of the period while highlighting the continuities between the resistance of Butler's generation and generations past.


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pp. 795-828
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