In her article "Race, Gender, and the Beats in Tan Magazine's 'I Was a Victim of the Beat Generation'" Chelsea Stripe discusses the "true to life" story of Sara Howard, a single African American mother who becomes pregnant by a white Beat and struggles to raise their child alone. On the one hand, "I Was a Victim of the Beat Generation" emphasizes the exploitative character of Beats' affinity for African American culture and of their attitudes toward women. Further, Howard's story critiques the social fluidity that Beat privilege allows. On the other hand, the story articulates conservative US-American middle class values and encourages opposition to the Beats as a strategy of African American female respectability and racial uplift. Matters of race and gender intersect in this African American women's popular magazine to complicate and make more complete the picture of popular media during the post-World War II era. Moreover, Howard's story demonstrates how marginalized identities experienced and perceived the Beats, broadening an understanding of the group's place in US-American culture.
Stripe, Chelsea M.
"Race, Gender, and the Beats in Tan Magazine's "I Was a Victim of the Beat Generation"."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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