movie Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Ending Explained! Plot Details &...

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Ending Explained! Plot Details & Spoilers


Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Ending: Everything You Should Know

Directed by George C. Wolfe,’ Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ is Really a drama that looks at the Adventures of the African-American Neighborhood in the 1920s.

Using an ensemble cast that features Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman, the events unfold over one afternoon to paint a poignant film. Hold tight, since there’s a lot to discuss.

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Not only does she appear late, but she’s in a constant battle with her manager, Irvin, and the producer, Sturdivant. The band arrives until she waits and does in another room. Not only does he have his eyes set on Ma’s girlfriend, but Dussie Mae,

However, he also wants to make his own band and launch new music. On the course of the day, the bandmates learn more about each other’s pasts, and as the narrative progresses, a battle is rife.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Plot Recap

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Movie Ending
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Movie Ending

After an eventually successful recording session, even Ma compliments everybody but Levee because he played more emotionally; this pulled her off her game. Following an argument between the two, she strikes him immediately, and he acts quite casual about it.

He goes back into the waiting room and breaks the door only to locate a small room without a ceiling. That is emblematic of the hope and ambition which Levee feels although he does not have many prospects in reality.

After all, despite being closed in by his own decisions, he seems oddly confident that he can make it big if given a chance. However, the steadfast singer ensures that her nephew is paid individually. What’s more, Irvin begs her to sign the release forms.

After some initial hesitation, she supplies in. But, Ma also warns Irvin that if more hiccups happen in Sturdyvant’s studio, later on, she may always record someplace else. After this interaction, she leaves.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Ending Explained:

When Levee approaches the manufacturer about the original music which the trumpeter had written, Sturdivant just says he does not like the tunes enough to capture them. However, the producer is willing to compensate him for about $ 5 a popup.

Though Levee tries to persuade Sturdyvant to go ahead with the agreement, the producer fails, citing different reasons every time. Understandably, Levee is bummed out by this rejection since he had all his hopes pinned on this.

In a fit of rage, Levee stabs Toledo, who subsequently dies in his arms. The rest of the bandmates are in doubt. But in the event that you really consider it, those shoes are also symbolic of Levee’s vision.

After all, he buys $11 (which was a lot of cash in the 1920s) about these. So when Toledo measures on these, it’s almost like he is stepping onto the trumpeter’s dreams. In the end, we find out that Sturdivant had lied to Levee.

An all-white orchestra recording the very song which the trumpeter had written, and a white guy sings the lyrics also. Certainly, the producer likes the trail but just doesn’t want to function with a black man.

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We believe that in most probability, the bandmates wouldn’t have helped the trumpeter cover the crime since they honored Toledo too much to do this. They would also have had difficulties using Levee’s smart mouth and disposition. It seems like Sturdivant is the one who could have turned the trumpeter in.


Firstly, Sturdyvant’s studio would be your crime scene. Then, there is the simple fact that the manufacturer has effectively cheated Levee from work. He purchases the tunes for $5 Billion but may go to earn a lot more money as soon as they release.

If the trumpeter is currently in prison, then the entire ordeal becomes much simpler for Sturdivant, since Levee won’t have the ability to compete for this malpractice. Needless to say, in the lack of the Civil Rights Act, the bandmate would not have gotten a fair trial in all likelihood.

Who’s The Actual Protagonist: Ma Rainey or Levee?

At first glance, it appears like Ma Rainey is your protagonist. After all, her name is in the very title of the movie. Initially, she comes across as just another tenacious performer whose fame has gone to her head. However, because the story unfolds, we learn that this is not the case.

Yes, she does have inconsistent requests (if you’re able to call them ), and it’s always her way or the highway. However, this is largely due to the democratic realities of the 1920s. She is a woman who knows her worth and also understands both Irvin and Sylvester decide to work with her only because she’s an established artist.

When Ma says, “They all need is my voice,” she strikes the nail on the head perfectly. All things considered, which white man in the 20s would voluntarily kowtow to a black lady with no prospect/promise of a paycheck? She understands their whole relationship is monetary in nature.

This can be evident in a few scenes — Irvin fails to procure Coca Cola for the singer, and Sturdivant doesn’t wish to cover Sylvester an additional $25. Their transactional relationship works because Ma understands what she’s worth to these men.

She’s an independent girl who had been sprung to fame by the black community in the first place, and so she knows that white men aren’t that important for her survival. This is why she acts the way she does with Irvin.

Plus, we learn more about the principles of both racism and sexism that she encounters as a thriving black woman in the 1920s. On the flip side, we have the stubborn and determined Levee, who dreams of being a famous musician. He actually believes he can make it huge, along with his cocky attitude appears from that notion.

A levee is a gifted person, however, he is unable to browse the politics prevalent in the music arena as well as Ma does. His narrative is one that is just as intriguing and tragic. At the start of the movie, Levee does attempt to take the spotlight away from Ma by stepping forward on the stage.


This scene is significant because it will become evident that Levee does believe he is all that. Additionally, there’s something to be said for the fact that he successfully stays in the spotlight until Ma directs the attention back on herself. In such respects, the 2 characters are very similar.

Both are very talented, and they understand it. Furthermore, both are both stubborn and don’t care about the opinions of different people. Ma doesn’t desire Levee to perform his instrument emotionally; she wants him to stick with what they have always done.

But the trumpeter couldn’t care much less about what the renowned singer desires. If she strikes him, he seems to be unaffected by it. So, whose story does the storyline relay impactfully?

Is it Ma, who knows her worth and isn’t reluctant to leverage her stardom for exactly what she believes proper therapy? Or can it be Levee, that exhibits a coaster of emotions from start to finish? After all, a white guy’s rejection induces Levee to take the life span of a black guy, even if it is a mistake.

We get it. The day is an emotional one for Levee. Not only does he disclose the grim details of his mother’s gang rape if he was only 8, but also the day additionally participates in him stabbing his bandmate.

He has to relive past injury only to be reversed from the white man once more. His bandmates make fun of him for pandering to the producer, but the trumpeter is confident that he will get the deal.

Afterward, when all falls apart, he’s not able to contain his feelings and takes Toledo’s own life. In the end, it’s clear that Levee’s exultant outlook and overconfidence will be the main reason for his downfall.

Ma would not have responded to a situation this way. Even though the trumpeter talks a big conversation, Ma walks the walk. This is the essential difference between them. Ma has recently entertained a whole production of African-Americans while dealing with racism and sexism constantly.

In this aspect, the two characters are poles apart. Ma treats the two white men in the studio because she awakens, but it’s for good reason. She understands that in this way, they will never take her for granted. Levee lacks any such foresight.

It appears like the trumpeter could have seen similar success if he were as levelheaded as the singer. In the long run, the two bring something special to the dining table, also Levee is very significant to the narrative as Ma is.

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