“Black Man Ray” is Ray Charles, who China Crisis apparently believe in. Now Ray Charles’ blackness is not a secret, so why did China Crisis see fit to remind us of it on their incomprehensibly awful single? My theories:
i) They were talking about the photographer Man Ray, and asserting that he was black. Which he wasn’t. But this was the 80s and all sorts of people were black back then – Shakespeare, Rick Astley, etc. – generally at the behest of ‘loony lefties’ who The Sun had made up.
ii) The song was meant to be a double A-Side with “White Man Ray” about snooker ace Ray Reardon but it was dropped when China Crisis decided they preferred Dennis Taylor and his clever upside-down glasses.
iii) It was a reference to the much rumoured secret weapon of the South African apartheid regime, The Black-Man Ray. Fashioned almost definately from Nazi technology this weapon was supposedly able to fire into a crowd of people of various ethnicities and just pick out those of African origin. China Crisis, not content to constantly remind the world of the crisis in China, we also warning the world of a great evil in Africa.
iv) Ray Charles being blind, the lads from China Crisis thought he might not know he was black and decided to remind him. It would explain an awful lot of the discrimination he would have put up with in his youth so you think someone, like his parents, might have told him but it was nice of CC to be so thoughtful. A bit like the Beatles did with Lady Madonna.
If only Ray Charles had been deaf as well they might have got away with it, too.