Bev Clark

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(Did you mean the West Coast Bev Clark?)

(???? –)

Bev Clark (later Boles[1]), a fan from northern Indiana active in the 1950s, attended Chicon II, the 1952 Worldcon in Chicago, and Philcon II, the next year in Philadelphia.

She tried to attend Midwestcon 4 in 1953, but the hotel refused to allow her in due to a Jim Crow policy. In Mimosa 13 (January 1993), Buck Coulson recalled the incident:

We arrived at Beatley's Hotel (or Beastley's-on-the-Bayou, which was one of the fannish descriptions at the time) but Bev was refused admittance. No blacks allowed. None of us had even considered the possibility. On the way out, we talked to a few fans sitting on the hotel porch and some anger was expressed, especially by Harlan Ellison, who said that all fandom would hear about this outrage. We drove home, and as far as I know, nobody ever mentioned the episode again. Except me, of course.

Ellison did in fact mention the incident in his conreport in SF 8 (December 1953, p. 26), but omitted Bev’s name and made excuses for the hotelier:

Eugene deWeese, the well-known fan writer, and two friends of his, one of them a negro girl, journeyed all that distance to attend the Midwest convention. The young lady I met at Chicago, and I can truthfully say, though again such is superfluous, she is one of the most cultured, amiable, intelligent and thoroughly innervating people I have ever met. She was able to rent a room at Chicago ... but not at Indian Lake. Before a total scream is raised against Mrs.  Beatley, let us point out that the town of Russell’s Point is a very small one, both in size and group-mindedness. If Mrs. Beatley had al­lowed the young woman in, she would have, most likely, been severely chastised and even possibly ostrasized in the town.

Oddly, another Black fan, Bob Turner, had attended Midwestcon 3 the previous year at the same hotel, where he gave a speech at the banquet, without incident.


  1. Buck Coulson, "The Yankee Privateer," in The Mentor 64 (August 1989, p. 12).

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