Lovecraft Country has been packed with historical references since it arrived but episode 7’s Bessie Stringfield cameo is the best so far according to fans.
Lovecraft Country became one of TV’s must-watch dramas when it arrived on HBO and Sky Atlantic in August.
The series, which is based on the Matt Ruff novel of the same name, couldn’t have arrived at a better time as it explores the horrors of 1950s America – where racial segregation was commonplace – and blends it with the horrors of actual monsters pulled straight from the writings of H.P. Lovecraft.
Lovecraft Country’s most recent episode, titled I Am, takes a moment to shine a light on a number of pioneering historical figures.
Josephine Baker takes centre-stage during a truly bizarre scene with Hippolyta while fans have also spotted a delightful little nod to motorcycle legend, Bessie Stringfield.
Lovecraft Country episode 7
Lovecraft Country arrived on HBO in the US and Sky Atlantic in the UK in mid-August and has been airing weekly since.
The series has primarily followed Atticus Freeman, his friend Letitia and his Uncle George as they have travelled across 1950s America in search of Atticus’s missing father.
In episode 7, titled I Am, the focus is placed firmly on Atticus’s wife, Hippolyta as she sets out on her own only to end up half a universe away.
Who was Bessie Stringfield?
In the opening stages of episode 7, as Hippolyta is making her way towards St Louis, she passes an eye-catching figure of a woman riding a bright blue Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
This touching moment is a delightful nod to the legendary Bessie Stringfield.
While her origins and early years are up for debate, one thing that is known for certain is that Bessie was destined to ride motorbikes and make history.
At the age of just 16, she taught herself how to ride and during the 1930s, took to the road in several journeys across the US and beyond, gaining particular notoriety for becoming the first black woman to ride solo through all 48 US mainland states including in the Jim Crow south.
Later, during the Second World War, Bessie served as a civilian courier for the US Army, carrying documents between army bases across the US, encountering plenty of racism along the way.
The heroic figure settled in Miami, Florida after the way after training to become a nurse where she also set up the Iron Horse Motorcycle Club, earning her the name ‘The Motorcycle Queen of Miami.’
Bessie kept on riding until her death on February 16th, 1993 when she passed away due to a heart condition at the age of either 81 or 82.
Several years later, in 2000, the American Motorcycle Associated created the Bessie Stringfield Memorial Award and in 2002, Bessie was posthumously inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
Fans react to Bessie Stringfield’s cameo
It’s safe to say that Lovecraft Country’s tasteful nod to Bessie Stringfield has gone down well with fans with plenty taking to social media to praise the brief cameo.
One fan on Twitter wrote: “I love that they put Bessie Stringfield in this episode. I love that they put the actual book in the show. So many references that they weave into the fantasy. It’s like educational escapism. Such a good show!”
While another added: “Bessie Stringfield riding along Hippolyta made me so damn happy. #LovecraftCountry”
Lovecraft Country continues weekly on HBO and Sky Atlantic until the 10-episode series ends on October 18th and 19th respectively.