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|Index||60 reviews in total|
I was only 12 years old when I first saw Alex Haley's 'Roots' in 1977.
It was perhaps the most profound history lesson I've ever had.
'Roots' was the first television program that dealt with the issue of American slavery. Roots vividly portrays the ruthless manner in which Africans (such as teenaged Kunta Kinte) were kidnapped, shackled, and brought to the new world, and completely stripped of their homes, names, families, culture, language, religion, identity, and freedom.
The first thing that caught my attention was the selection of beloved television stars to portray the ruthless slave owners and victimized slaves, such as Robert Reed (of 'The Brady Bunch'), John Amos (of 'Good Times'), Lorne Green (of 'Bonanza'), Caroline Jones (of 'The Addams Family'), Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs (of 'Welcome Back, Kotter'), Ed Asner (of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'), Ralph Waite (of 'The Waltons'), and Chuck Connors (of 'The Rifleman'). This was a very clever move that resulted in viewers (particularly those of 1977) immediately relating to the characters in this emotional drama.
The miniseries begins in the late 18th century on the West coast of Africa. Teenager Kunta Kinte is ruthlessly kidnapped and sold into slavery in colonial Virginia to plantation owner John Reynolds. The brutal treatment of Kunta Kinte and his descendants is difficult to watch.
There are some scenes in 'Roots' which display the black and white characters sharing lighthearted moments, and virtual friendships. Unfortunately, reality soon strikes and reminds the viewer that slavery was very much a part of the equation in antebellum America.
In my opinion, Bell (outstanding portrayal by Madge Sinclair) and Kizzy (exceptional performance by Leslie Uggams) have the best scenes and the most compelling lines in this miniseries. However, the entire cast of 'Roots' provide an impeccable view of the harsh life that black people endured under slavery.
I highly recommend Alex Haley's 'Roots' as a history lesson everyone should experience. This is television at it's finest; 'Roots' is a timeless television classic that viewers will appreciate for generations to come.
Roots was one of the first projects to really show the truly talented African-American actors that were virtually ignored for years playing roles that were non-stereotypical. It also sparked my own quest into my roots. This is truly a landmark program and one that should be show to all generations.
I was just a kid when I first saw this mini series and it taught me people used to enslave each other no many time ago. It taught me you never have to give up, it taught me many things, that had shaped my life on many ways. I'll never forget it...
I feel that Roots is a mini series that only begins to give Americans a look into the depth of slavery. The relationships, the laws, the people, the social distinctions, the injustices that are unique to the South are all glimpsed in this mini series. I feel every person should see this to have a better understanding of all Americans history. The cast is excellent, the acting is superb. Because this film is history, it has held up well over almost 30 years since it was originally televised. Racism is still rampant, and not just in the South. By being informed it helps each of us to have compassion and to inventory our beliefs and question our teachings.
There were tons of episodes for this TV series. "Roots" is about the slave trade and it shows the true horrors of how the white men used to treat black men. The best episode in my view is the one where the black Kunta Kinte is captured and is taken onto a slave ship along with his fellow villagers. The conditions on the slave ship are absolutely horrible! The poor blacks are cramped and squashed up against one-another and are lying on top of each other,and they get very little water. They are whipped and beaten,some of them die of the heat as it is very hot below deck where they are,and some die of dysentery.And some selected woman are forced to have sex with the captain of the ship. But towards the end of the episode,Kunta Kinte and his fellow villagers are brought up on deck and are made to dance. Well,now that they're up on deck it is much more easier for them to escape.The white men and the captain do not think how easy it is for them to escape. And suddenly Kunta Kinte and the other slaves start conflict with the evil white men and the evil and ruthless Mr Slaiter has a knife thrown into him and rightly so,and the blacks defeat their kidnappers but how long will their freedom last...and will they ever see home again? There are many episodes to this series,the first four episodes are the best ones,which are located in slave ships to plantations and there is lots of adventure in them too. The other episode which seems to be one of those best ones is that one where Kunta Kinte becomes great friends with the free black man "Fiddler". Fiddler is a good and kind man who dies in episode four and leaves Kunta Kinte to deal with his problems alone. The series are full of adventure and good drama.If you are good at your history you'll like this series.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Roots was an important miniseries because it helped stop unfair racial prejudices. I just had comms with the Care Rank Ki Alien Ambassador Demeter here on planet earth who is also the skipper of Earth with an 8 star rank. The second in command is American Shadow President Jack Kennedy. Demeter said to me that he has absolute power and then said ayes. I said aye aye Captain back. Then Demeter said when you are weak you talk Peace. So I am restating my human boss President Jack Kennedys Peace speech of June 1963 when he said that America would never start a nuclear war. To paraphrase further in the final analysis we all inhabit this small planet we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's future and we are all mortal. A big thank you to IMDb for allowing the American leadership to have freedom of speech on its website. May God continue to bless the Ki Alien American Secret Service Elizabeth Regina alliance. IMDb has many other important miniseries listed as well.
I can only imagine how mind-blowing and impressive "Roots" must have been when it first aired. We have to remember that this is part of our history as Americans, and we have to deal with it. I remember in an interview, David Wolper said that after "Roots" aired, the Ku Klux Klan demanded to be allowed to tell their side of the story. Imagine that! But anyway, this is a miniseries that I recommend to everyone. Alex Haley - who appears at the end - really gave us something great. Starring Maya Angelou, Moses Gunn, LeVar Burton, Ed Asner, O.J. Simpson, Louis Gossett Jr., Robert Reed, Lorne Greene, Lynda Day George, Brad Davis and Lloyd Bridges.
Roots is very dated now - the sound is tinny, and it looks and feels
extremely 70's. But what makes it great is that you actually get to
know and care about the slaves on board the ship in the opening
episodes (the only ones I saw), and learn more about what they wanted
and how they felt about the treatment their masters gave them. Another
good thing about this is that the creators actually gave the slaves
clothes on this - unlike Amistad, in which Steven Spielberg had lots of
naughty bits on show just for shock effect. And to be honest, this is
much better, and works just as well. Yes, the acting is pretty cheesy,
but as long as you actually want to watch a slave-related picture that
you can actually learn to care about the slaves on deck (not much on
offer here) by watching, this is it. The slaves's revolt on deck is
pretty fun to watch, and proves that Roots is a programme which shows
both sides of the argument - the slaves' and the owners' sides. The
slaves actually have characters on this, and have their dignity -
unlike in Amistad, in which they seem okay to get thrown off boats
without fighting back. Steven Spielberg and unnecessary nudity and
nookie in films have always got on like bacon and eggs, but he has to
stop and build some character, rather than bump nude people off for
Roots may have lost some of its effect over the 30 years it has been around for, but it gives an honest and realistic depiction of life on board slave ships, and for that, it deserves to be called spiffing. Spiffing. 8/10
Although I watched this in the early 80s I was blown away when I watched it again on DVD. Alex Haley has to be the benchmark on 'Black Writing'. He has created the genre, and any bookshop that has a 'Black Writing' section without Alex Haley's 'Roots' does not have a black writing section. 'Roots' is a period drama, historical faction, a family saga and a tome all in one. It's unfair to call it a novel because it is more than that. It stretches across seven generations from different perspectives, and therefore should be seven novels rather than one. In fact, I'd go as far to say that it was even better than the 'Star Wars' trilogy.
When Roots first aired 30 years ago, I was in 3rd grade and unaware of any political and economic ties to slavery. At that time, all I knew was that my ancestors were slaves. Last night, the first episode aired on a cable channel and I was disappointed because of how we were portrayed. From what I studied in college in my African American history classes, we were not savages as portrayed in the movie. We were kings and queens. The scene where Kunta Kinte scared off the tiger was appalling. I guess Kunta was supposed to be some kind of brute. This is what we have been taught throughout history--that we were savages and amazons, which is entirely untrue. I wish they would have portrayed us in a more positive manner. As an adult watching the movie, it was "made for TV" meaning that they had to have a sympathetic white person on the cast to cover-up what really went on. It's an historical event and movie, but I feel to was too commercialized. A movie that I feel honestly deals with the plight of the black race since slavery was Spike Lee's "Malcolm X."
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