It's now 1939 and 17 year-old Alex returns to home to Elizabeth City from college. He's also there to tell his father that he's not on leave to conduct a research paper but has in fact quit... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Nan Branch Haley
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Zenitha Haley
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Commander Robert Munroe
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Nelson
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Lila
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Scotty
Mary Betten ...
Proprietress
Ted Gehring ...
Road Boss
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Vernon
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Cousin Georgia Anderson
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Daisy (as Thelma Hopkins)
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Storyline

It's now 1939 and 17 year-old Alex returns to home to Elizabeth City from college. He's also there to tell his father that he's not on leave to conduct a research paper but has in fact quit school. Simon has re-married since Bertha died and Alex has some difficulty with that, all the more so when he realizes that his step-mother is pregnant. Simon has high hopes for his son and firmly believes in education as they to improve your lot in life. Deciding to compromise, Simon decides he should join the army but Alex agrees to join the US Coast Guard. Like many other blacks in the segregated military, he finds himself relegated to the kitchen serving as a steward, making beds and shining shoes and silver. Out on liberty, Alex meets Nan Branch at a church dance. With the onset of World War II, they are married but his father disapproves. They soon have a daughter and with wars end, Simon stills holds out some hope that Alex will return to college. Alex decides he likes writing but opts to ... Written by garykmcd

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Genres:

Drama | History | War

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Details

Release Date:

23 February 1979 (USA)  »

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Trivia

The issue of "Life" that the second motel owner is seen reading during the November 1946 sequence was the weekly magazine's tenth anniversary issue, which was released on November 25, 1946. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Damon Evans as the wartime Alex Haley
15 January 2017 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

Chapter six finds Alex Haley (Damon Evans) just out of high school, his father's plans for him to continue with college foiled by his joining the Coast Guard because he wants to see more of the world. Simon Haley (Dorian Harewood) has a second wife, Zenitha (Diahann Carroll), who supports her stepson more than her husband does, though Alex chooses to remember only the late Bertha as his mother. Once again race relations are strained during wartime, but Alex soon discovers he has a talent for choosing the right words when it comes to forging love letters for fellow sailors like Scotty (John Hancock). This is the time that he meets pretty Nan Branch (Debbie Allen) at a church social, who becomes his bride before war's end. Alex encounters difficulty learning how to be a writer under Commander Robert Munroe (Andy Griffith), his magazine articles usually returned without being published. His determination in his chosen field leaves less and less time for his wife and children, until Nan finally decides to take them away after a bitterly disappointing Christmas, left standing by himself to feel even more like a failure. James Earl Jones takes the role of Haley for the concluding chapter.


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