A saga of African-American life, based on Alex Haley's family history. Kunta Kinte is abducted from his African village, sold into slavery, and taken to America. He makes several escape attempts until he is finally caught and maimed. He marries Bell, his plantation's cook, and they have a daughter, Kizzy, who is eventually sold away from them. Kizzy has a son by her new master, and the boy grows up to become Chicken George, a legendary cock fighter who leads his family into freedom. Throughout the series, the family observes notable events in U.S. history, such as the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, slave uprisings, and emancipation. Written by
Eric Sorensen <Eric_Sorensen@fc.mcps.k12.md.us>
The installment which aired in 30 January 1977 in the USA was the most-watched TV show in US history (since surpassed by the M*A*S*H finale in 1983 and "Who Shot J.R.?" episode of Dallas) in 1980. In the US 36.38 million households or 51.1% watched it giving it a Neilsen share of 71%. See more »
The Akan and Kunte Kinte discussed running north to the safety of the abolitionist movement in the supposed late 1700's (according to the story's timeline). The abolitionist movement did not reach crusading proportions until the early 19th century. See more »
What's snow, Fiddler?
Never you mind, boy, never you mind. Let's get on back to home. I got enough trouble teaching you the difference between manure and massa. 'Course there ain't all that much difference when you gets right down to it.
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Too many people still believe that Roots is the true story of Alex Haley's ancestors. It is their story, all right, but almost entirely a work of fiction.
Mr Haley's claims to have spent 20 years under-covering his family history were quickly found to be false. The book (even Haley admitted it was a novel, and "largely" fiction) is a work of the imagination, not history. And not even his own imagination. It was freely plagiarized - whole pages intact -from the work of Harold Courlander - who incidentally wasn't an African-American.
Roots is compelling TV, but like Frankenstein or The Shawshank Redemption, it is a work of fiction, and a mistake to read too much into it.
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