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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Characters & Character Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 65 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
This section contains 1,305 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
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Characters

Sylvester Brown

Ma introduces Sylvester as her nephew. He is young and built like an "Arkansas fullback," and he stutters. He was the driver during the car accident, but Ma absolves him of blame. Ma insists that he introduce her song, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," even though he stutters. Critics have raised the possibility that perhaps Sylvester is Ma's lover, rather than her nephew, and that Sylvester's sniping with Dussie Mae reflects competition for her affection and attention.

Cutler

Cutler is the guitar and trombone player and leader of the instrumentalists. He is in his mid-fifties and, Wilson writes, "has all the qualities of a loner except the introspection." He plays the music straight, with no embellishment. During the session, he smokes reefer (marijuana). Cutler's story about Reverend Gates being humiliated by a gang of white men illustrates his attitude that black men have to do what's necessary to...

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This section contains 1,305 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Study Guide
Copyrights
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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