Apple TV+’s drama, “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey,” the protagonist Ptolemy Grey has dementia. Grey also experiences memory loss and visions of Coydog, an uncle-figure who encourages him to search for the treasure he gave to Grey. Dr. Grey remembers Coydog’s glory, AKA the black heart. Grey also recalls Coydog’s sacrifices for the benefit of his people. The third episode of the series focuses on Coydog’s personal life. One might wonder, Coydog a Real Person and the treasure and the character have real-life roots. Let’s find the answer!
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey SPOILERS Ahead.
Is Coydog a Real Person?
A natural person did not create coydog. Walter Mosley created the character for his novel. It serves as the source material for the limited series. Coydog is one of many African American people executed in the southern United States during the 19th and 20 centuries. Due to racial tensions in the United States, many African-Americans were tortured and hanged to their deaths during this period of history. Coydog, from the Southern state of Mississippi, suffered the same fate.
Like many African-American martyrs before him, Coydog put his safety and security at risk to improve the lives of others. He stole the treasure he called black heart from Clive Miller. Miller was a cruel, wealthy landowner who used African-Americans as a way to increase his wealth. Coydog was aware that Miller’s wealth belonged to several African-Americans who had worked tirelessly for it. Coydog stole the treasure in an attempt to return Miller’s wealth to his community. Coydog put the treasure in a nearby water source and asked Grey to retrieve it for them.
The NAACP states that Mississippi was the only state to witness 581 lynchings between 1882 and 1968. Coydog is the fictional counterpart to those murdered for opposing White supremacy and the exploitations of African-Americans. Although Coydog’s life is fictionalized, his environment is very real and deeply moving. Coydog believed that the treasure he had stolen would be returned to his people and help them reduce their suffering, even when a White mob began to beat him. Numerous African-Americans displayed a selfless mentality to strengthen their communities, particularly in the 20th century. These individuals are reflected in the fictional character Coydog.
Is Coydog’s Treasure or Black Heart Real
Coydog’s black heart or treasure is fake. Walter Mosley also created the treasure to help Grey connect to his past. He is motivated by the fictional treasure and agrees to Dr. Rubin’s treatment. Once he has regained his memory, he attempts to find it. The wealth of Clive Miller, who exploited African-Americans for his treasure, has historical parallels.
Many landowners relied on African-Americans to ensure their success before and after abolishing slavery. Miller was no different. Coydog’s theft of the treasure results from the exploitation of his locality, which was common in the 19th and 20th centuries. The black heart is not a literal treasure; it symbolizes the fruits of the hardships that African-Americans endured to increase the wealth of Whites who unjustly used them.