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"Roots" Part IV (1977)

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Leslie Uggams as Kizzy, and Ben Vereen as Chicken George

10/10
Author: kevin olzak (kevinolzak@yahoo.com) from Youngstown, Ohio
15 January 2017

Chapter four opens in 1806 Spotsylvania County, Virginia, where Kunta Kinte (John Amos) and wife Belle (Madge Sinclair) still live with teenage daughter Kizzy (Emmy nominee Leslie Uggams) on the plantation of Dr. William Reynolds (Robert Reed). Kizzy's childhood friend Missy Anne (Emmy nominee Sandy Duncan) visits her uncle William, rekindling the friendship by promising to buy Kizzy so they can be together forever. Only Kizzy's parents know that Missy Anne taught their daughter how to read and write when they were children, and worry about losing their child should something go wrong. An escape attempt by Kizzy's boyfriend Noah (Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs) soon reveals Kizzy to be responsible for forging his written pass, resulting in her being sold to Tom Moore (Chuck Connors). Unlike her previous owner, Moore is a notorious womanizer, taking her virginity in painful fashion, and fathering her son Chicken George (Emmy nominee Ben Vereen), so named for his expertise in handling fighting cocks under the tutelage of longtime trainer Mingo (Scatman Crothers). Now in 1824 Caswell County, Virginia, George is courting preacher's daughter Matilda (Olivia Cole, whose performance earned an Emmy Award for Supporting Actress), who has her hands full trying to curb his outgoing exuberance, making him very popular with the ladies. Kizzy has never told him who his father was, with George never once thinking that his master is also his daddy, though they share a bond that is closer than most for the time, earning good money fighting chickens.

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