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"Roots" More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Not just another teaching tool...

Author: malikachika14
13 April 2002

I first saw some of Roots when i was in 7th grade and i thought that it was pretty interesting. When i got in eighth grade my teacher began showing Roots (which we never got to finish) and i got really into it... a lot of the series made me really mad to see that people thought they had the right to treat other people as animals, other parts were so sad that i would have broken down and cried if i hadn't been in class... and some parts made me laugh.... the whole thing just really got me to thinking and i will probably never forget Roots and all it taught me...


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5 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Thoughts on ROOTS, 35 years later

Author: curmed52 from United States
22 December 2012

I saw ROOTS when it was first broadcast in 1977 and found it interesting but simplistic - noble blacks, evil whites. Given that my family was avoiding pogroms in Eastern Europe during the 100 years covered by this story, I did not come away with the intended guilt trip.

I saw it again this weekend on BET and had a different view of it behind older eyes. First, I want to know why BET advertises chocolate cereal to a largely black viewership? Black children eat badly enough without chocolate in the morning. I now know that this story was not real but rather plagiarized from a fictional book. It is one of many accounts of black history published or broadcast over the past 35 years that are exaggerations or out and out lies aimed at making blacks feel good about themselves, and I wonder why the mostly white writers of these fictions have the need to distort history for this one people.

But the story is interesting if the now usual good blacks/bad whites scenarios. Actually, there were probably more good slave owners than slaves. Indeed, like most of us, white slave owners back then had families and businesses to worry about and little time and inclination to beat slaves. And the slaves were good, bad and everything in between, not the saints that ROOTS portrayed.

White guilt is now long over, so one can watch ROOTS as one would CSI or any other fictional TV show.

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6 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

A series that takes a great look into slavery.

Author: Brian Blueskye ( from Mentor, OH
21 September 1999

Alex Haley really did a great job experimenting his family tree, I'm amazed he was able to do that much research, and just make a great mini-series out of it. The one thing this series does is just shock you, it teaches you how cruel slavery was, and how much you really didn't know that they were supposed to teach you in school.

One thing I love about this series is how touching it all really is. The marriages of the slaves, the jobs of the slaves, and the story about Chicken George is just very cool. I know to some this series is just very depicting, and to some whites, they feel it's making them responsible for slavery. But what the series is teaching you, is that we should all learn about our mistakes in history, and accept what we are, and try to change for the better without finger pointing.

This series shocked alot of people, and sparked alot of controversy, but it's worth seeing, for any race, for any generation, in any country. Alex Haley, I take my hat off to you.

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1 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Alex Haley's Masterpiece

Author: Thomas from United States
24 October 2006

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.

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3 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

A Truly Influential Work

Author: Brian Washington ( from Los Angeles, California
16 April 2003

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.

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6 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

the greatest mini series ever!!!!!!

Author: Emmanuel Gómez B. ( from Santiago, Dominican Republic
27 August 1999

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...

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0 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A must see

Author: sgodwin-1 from United States
31 October 2005

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.

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0 out of 7 people found the following review useful:


Author: S James M ( from Corby, Northamptonshire, England UK
21 April 2002

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.

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0 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

The African American verbal history is interesting.

Author: xbrad68 from SAINT CATHARINES, ONTARIO
6 May 2006

*** 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.

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0 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

one of the most important parts of our history

Author: Lee Eisenberg ( from Portland, Oregon, USA
15 September 2006

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.

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