The death of Mantan, not Manray

At around 1:56:30: “The network sought a court order to carry it live, taking it off the feed. It was granted– a live snuff, right into the comfort of your living room. May God bless America.”

Even though a live execution was about to occur of one of their own employees, the Network was still interested in ratings and viewership count. The death of a black man meant nothing of emotional significance to CNS besides the economic exploitation of a popular black man’s execution. This was the moment in the movie when Pierre formally realized he had become the Tom Character. First, Lee shows a caricature of a black man in despair, showed alongside the announcement of death of Mantan. This statue in despair could have a multitude of meaning, ranging from the angry cry of the Mau Mau, the cry for help from Manray, or the demons within Pierre that have won.

The “May God Bless America” is also representative of how secondary the execution of Manray was to CNS. By ending with the “blessing of America,” Dunwitty subtly gives his approval that the nation is doing fine. When is “God bless America” used on television? Typically, it is said after a speech of the progress this nation has made or after some sort of triumph. Here, it is juxtaposed alongside a massive relapse in racial progress.


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It should also be noted when Manray is referred to as “Manray” and as “Mantan”– his individuality is essentially stripped the second he agrees to the role, and he becomes the white mans stereotype. Even in his death announcement he is referred to as “Mantan”. The Mau Mau were not killing Manray, they were killing Mantan. They were trying to reject the 150-year regression that Pierre and his puppet, Manray, had caused. Soon after this scene, Pierre donned blackface– the final .

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