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Dickel, Simon: "“Can’t Leave Me Behind”. Racism, Gay Politics, and Coming of Age in Howard Cruse’s Stuck Rubber Baby." In: Amerikastudien 56.4 (2011), S. 617–636. 
Resource type: Journal Article
Languages: englisch
Peer reviewed
BibTeX citation key: Dickel2011a
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Stuck Rubber Baby", Cruse. Howard, Ethnizität, Gender, USA
Creators: Dickel
Collection: Amerikastudien
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On three different narrative levels, Howard Cruse’s Stuck Rubber Baby portrays the coming of age and coming out of its white narrator, Toland Polk, in the American South in the 1950s and 1960s. This graphic novel shows that Toland’s personal developments are closely and necessarily linked to racist violence and the politics of the Civil Rights Movement. Analyzing the narrative functions of music, the translinear leitmotif of a crushed head, and Cruse’s manipulation of panel frames and gutters, I argue that Stuck Rubber Baby uses these three aspects to connect Toland’s biography to black history. The three devices allow Cruse to explore and interrogate the interrelated politics of black and gay liberation. Cruse is careful not to equate racism and homophobia. Picturing the black gay and lesbian characters Les, Esmeraldus, Marge, and Effie as being rooted within the black community, he circumvents the fallacy of stating that both forms of oppressions are analogous and effectively counters common stereotypical assumptions about the prevalence of homophobia in black communities.
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