|Based on|| Roots: The Saga of an American Family |
by Alex Haley
|Written by||Alex Haley|
|Screenplay by||Alex Haley |
|Theme music composer|| Gerald Fried |
Quincy Jones (episode 1)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||8 (re-edited to 6 for video)|
|Executive producer||David L. Wolper|
|Cinematography||Stevan Larner, ASC|
|Running time||45/90 minutes per episode|
|Production company||Wolper Productions|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television|
|Picture format||SDTV 480p (original broadcast) HDTV 1080i (remastered version)|
|Original release||January 23 –|
January 30, 1977
|Followed by||Roots: The Next Generations|
Roots is an American television miniseries based on Alex Haley's 1976 novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family . The series first aired on ABC in January 1977. Roots received 37 Primetime Emmy Award nominations and won nine. It also won a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award. It received unprecedented Nielsen ratings for the finale, which still holds a record as the third-highest-rated episode for any type of television series, and the second-most watched overall series finale in U.S. television history.It was produced on a budget of $6.6 million.
A sequel, Roots: The Next Generations , first aired in 1979, and a second sequel, Roots: The Gift , a Christmas television film, starring Burton and Louis Gossett Jr., first aired in 1988. A related film, Alex Haley's Queen , is based on the life of Queen Jackson Haley, who was Alex Haley's paternal grandmother.
In 2016, a remake of the original miniseries, with the same name, was commissioned by the History channel and screened by the channel on Memorial Day.
In The Gambia, West Africa, in 1750, Kunta Kinte is born to Omoro Kinte (Thalmus Rasulala), a Mandinka warrior, and his wife, Binta (Cicely Tyson). He is raised in a Muslim family.When Kunta (LeVar Burton) reaches the age of 15, he and other adolescent boys undergo a semi-secretive tribal rite of passage, under the kintango (Moses Gunn), which includes wrestling, circumcision, philosophy, war-craft and hunting skills; while tasked to catch a bird unharmed, Kunta crosses paths with Gardener's small party of European slave hunters and their captives.
Shortly after his ceremonial return, while fetching wood outside his village to make a drum for his younger brother, Kunta is captured by Gardener and four black collaborators. He is then sold to a slave trader and placed aboard the slave ship Lord Ligonier under the command of Capt. Thomas Davies (Edward Asner) for a three-month journey to Colonial America. During the voyage, an insurrection among the human cargo fails to take over the ship, but results in the death of Mr. Slater (Ralph Waite), several crew members, and several Africans including the Mandinka wrestler.
The ship eventually arrives in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1767, where the captured Africans are sold at auction as slaves. John Reynolds (Lorne Greene), a plantation owner from Spotsylvania County, Virginia, near Fredericksburg, buys Kunta and gives him the Christian name Toby. Reynolds assigns an older slave, Fiddler (Louis Gossett Jr.), to teach Kunta English and train him in the ways of servitude. Although Kunta gradually warms up to Fiddler, he wants to preserve his Mandinka (and Islamic) heritage, and he defiantly refuses to eat pork.
Kunta makes several unsuccessful attempts to escape, first breaking his leg chain with a broken tool blade he finds half buried in a field. After this attempt the overseer, Ames (Vic Morrow), gathers the slaves and directs "James" to whip Kunta until he acknowledges his new name "Toby". Fiddler comforts the bloody-backed Kunta, consoling "there will be another day". For events that occur in 1775, between the above period and the post–Revolutionary War, where the next section begins, see Roots: The Gift .
|Part of a series on|
1776, the adult Kunta Kinte (John Amos), still haunted by his Mandinka roots and desire for freedom, tries again to escape, but a pair of slave-catchers hobble him by chopping off almost half his right foot with a hatchet. Exasperated, John Reynolds decides to sell Kunta, which will also settle a debt with his brother Dr. William Reynolds (Robert Reed), the local physician. John transfers several of his slaves, including Fiddler, to William.
Bell (Madge Sinclair), the cook for William's family, successfully treats both Kunta's mangled foot and wounded spirit. By 1780 Kunta submits to a life of servitude, and relinquishes hope of returning to Africa. He marries Bell, in a ceremony which includes jumping across a broom, Bell bears a daughter, to whom Kunta gives the name Kizzy, which means "stay put" in the Mandinka language. Fiddler continues to mentor Kunta, and dies an old man in 1790.
An adulterous relationship between Dr. William Reynolds and John Reynolds' wife (Lynda Day George) produces a daughter, Missy Anne (Sandy Duncan), whom John believes is his own. Missy Anne and Kizzy become playmates and best friends despite the social confines of Southern plantation culture. Missy Anne secretly teaches Kizzy to read and write, a skill forbidden to human chattel. In 1806, Kizzy (Leslie Uggams), now in her teen years, falls in love with Noah (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs), a spirited slave who attempts to flee North with a "traveling pass" forged by Kizzy.
Dr. Reynolds, although amiable and compassionate towards his chattel, regards the pass and escape to be such an egregious breach of trust that he separately sells both Noah and Kizzy, much to the horror of Bell and Kunta. Dr. Reynolds sells Kizzy to Tom Moore (Chuck Connors), a planter in Caswell County, North Carolina, with a sexual appetite for young female slaves. Moore violently rapes Kizzy the night of her arrival. Kizzy becomes pregnant from the assault and gives birth to their son, George, nine months after her arrival.
In 1824, Sam Bennett (Richard Roundtree), a fancy carriage driver and a suitor who seeks to impress, takes Kizzy for a short visit to the plantation of Dr. William Reynolds, in the hope that she can see her parents. Kizzy learns that Bell has been sold away and that Kunta died two years earlier. Kizzy sees her father's grave and his wooden marker; using a small stone, she scratches over the name Toby and writes below it "Kunta Kinte," and promises him that his descendants will be free one day.
George (Ben Vereen), under the tutelage of Mingo (Scatman Crothers), an older slave, learns much about cockfighting, and, by direction of Tom Moore, their master, George takes over as the chief trainer, the "cock of the walk". George befriends Marcellus, a free black man, and fellow cockfighter, who informs him about the possibility of buying his own freedom. In 1831 (not 1841 as erroneously listed in the TV captions), a now-adult George continues to believe Moore to be a friend until he realizes his master's true feeling when he and his family are threatened at gunpoint by Moore and his wife, as a result of the Nat Turner rebellion.
Although none of Moore's slaves are personally involved in the rebellion, they become victims of the paranoid suspicions of their master, so they start planning to buy their freedom. In an emotional scene, Kizzy reveals to George the identity of his father.
George becomes an expert in cockfighting, thus earning for himself the moniker "Chicken George". Squire James (Macdonald Carey), Moore's main adversary in the pit, arranges for a British owner, Sir Eric Russell (Ian McShane), and twenty of his cocks to visit and to participate in the local fights. Moore eventually bets a huge sum on his best bird, which George has trained, but he loses, and he cannot pay.
Under the terms of a settlement between Moore and Russell, George goes to England to train cocks for Russell and to train more trainers and is forced to leave behind Kizzy (his mother), Tildy (Matilda, his wife) (Olivia Cole), and his sons, Tom and Lewis (Georg Stanford Brown and Hilly Hicks). Moore promises to set George free after George returns. In one brief scene Kizzy and Anne Reynolds, both elderly, face each other one last time, and Missy Anne denies that she "recollects" a "darkie by the name of Kizzy". Kizzy then spits into Anne's cup of water without Anne's realizing.
George returns 14 years later, in 1861, shortly before the start of the Civil War. He proudly announces that Moore, after some reluctance on Moore's part and some persuasion on George's part, has kept his word by granting George his freedom. He learns that Kizzy has died two months before, and that Tom and Lewis now belong to Sam Harvey (Richard McKenzie). He finds that Tom (Georg Stanford Brown) has become a blacksmith on the Harvey plantation, and that Tom has a wife, Irene (Lynne Moody), and two sons.
He also learns that his relatives have spoken well of him during his absence. He further learns that according to a law in North Carolina, if he stays 60 days in that state as a freed slave, he will lose his freedom, so he heads northward, seeking the next stage in his career as a cockfighter and awaiting the end of the war, the emancipation of the slaves, and another reunion of his family.
While the war continues to its inevitable end, a hungry and destitute young white couple from South Carolina, George and Martha Johnson (Brad Davis and Lane Binkley), arrive and ask for help, and the slave family take them in. Martha soon gives birth, but the child is stillborn. The white couple stays on with Tom and his wife, and becomes a part of their community. Tom Harvey meets harassment at the hands of two brothers, Evan and Jemmy Brent (Lloyd Bridges and Doug McClure).
Eventually, a month before the surrender by the South, Jemmy deserts the Confederate Army during the final desperate days of the war, and he shows up at Tom's blacksmith shop. Tom reluctantly runs an errand for him but, on returning, he finds Jemmy trying to rape Irene, and in the resulting fight Tom drowns him in the quenching tub. Later Evan, now an officer in the Confederate cavalry, arrives at the shop, demands to know about Jemmy, gets no answer, and angrily tells Tom that he has not yet finished with him.
After the war several local white men, led by Evan Brent and wearing white hoods (made from fabric sacks from Evan's store) begin to harass and terrorize Tom, his family, and other members of his community. Tom emerges as the leader among his group. As the local blacksmith, Tom devises a horseshoeing method to identify the horses involved in the raids by the hooded men. But when Tom reports his suspicions and his evidence to the sheriff (John Quade), in sympathy with Evan and knowing every member of the white mob, tips off Evan.
Evan's mob leads another raid against Tom, during which Tom is whipped savagely. George Johnson, in his capacity as the overseer of the plantation, intervenes and is forced to whip Tom, to his own horror and disgust, in order to save his friend's life.
Meanwhile, the former owner of the farm, Sam Harvey, is forced to surrender all of his property to Senator Arthur Justin (Burl Ives), a local politician intent on acquiring as much land as possible. Under the terms of the surrender, his former slaves are allowed to stay on as sharecroppers, with eventual rights to own a part of the land. However, because no written deed has been filed, the senator deems the agreement void and imposes heavy debts on the black farmers.
The night of the whipping of Tom, George unexpectedly returns, raises the spirits of his relatives and friends, and begins to plot their next step. He reports that he has bought some land in Tennessee. Using some cunning and deception of their own, the group makes preparations for their move away. After one final confrontation with Evan and his gang, George and his company start their trek from North Carolina to Tennessee. In the last scene George and his group arrive on his land in Henning, Lauderdale County, Tennessee, to start their new life.
George retells part of the story from Kunta Kinte in Africa to himself in Tennessee. Then Alex Haley briefly narrates a montage of photographs of family members connecting Tom's daughter, Cynthia, a great-great-granddaughter of Kunta Kinte, to Haley himself. For the continuation of the story from the late 19th century into the 20th century, see Roots: The Next Generations.
Number in parentheses indicates how many episodes in which the actor/character appears.
The miniseries was directed by Marvin J. Chomsky, John Erman, David Greene, and Gilbert Moses. It was produced by Stan Margulies. David L. Wolper was executive producer. The score was composed by Gerald Fried, and Quincy Jones for only the first episode. ABC television executives "got cold feet" after seeing the brutality depicted in the series and attempted to cut the network's predicted losses by airing the series over eight consecutive nights in January in one fell swoop.The Museum of Broadcast Communications recounts the apprehensions that Roots would flop, and how this made ABC prepare the format:
Familiar television actors like Lorne Greene were chosen for the white, secondary roles, to reassure audiences. The white actors were featured disproportionately in network previews. For the first episode, the writers created a conscience-stricken slave captain (Edward Asner), a figure who did not appear in Haley's novel but was intended to make white audiences feel better about their historical role in the slave trade. Even the show's consecutive-night format allegedly resulted from network apprehensions. ABC programming chief Fred Silverman hoped that the unusual schedule would cut his network's imminent losses—and get Roots off the air before sweeps week.— Encyclopedia of Television, Museum of Broadcast Communications
Many familiar white TV actors, like Chuck Connors (from The Rifleman ), Lorne Greene ( Bonanza and later Battlestar Galactica ), Robert Reed ( The Brady Bunch ), and Ralph Waite ( The Waltons ), were cast against type as slave holders and traders.
|Roots: The Saga of an American Family|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Label|| A&M |
|Quincy Jones chronology|
The film score was composed, arranged and conducted by Quincy Jones, and the soundtrack album was released on the A&M label in 1977.
Allmusic's Richard S. Ginell said "Quincy Jones has been threatening to write a long tone poem sketching the history of black music for decades now, and he has yet to do it. This project, rushed out in the wake of the 1977 TV mini-series Roots, is about as close as he has come. A brief (28 minutes) immaculately-produced and segued suite, Roots quickly traces a timeline from Africa to the Civil War, incorporating ancient and modern African influences (with Letta Mbulu as the featured vocalist), a sea shanty, field hollers, and fiddle tunes, snippets of dialogue from Roots actor Lou Gossett, and some Hollywood-style movie cues. ... Though some prominent jazzers turn up in the orchestra, there is not a trace of jazz to be heard. This is a timely souvenir of a cultural phenomenon, but merely a curiosity for jazz fans".
All compositions by Quincy Jones except where noted
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||68|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000^|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
The series received positive reviews. Review aggregator website, Rotten Tomatoes rated it 88% "fresh" based on 8 reviews.Variety reviewed it positively, summarizing, "The production and performances are strong, with newcomer LeVar Burton effective as the African youngster trapped into slavery. Edward Asner, as he did in Rich Man, Poor Man a year ago, dominates the screen in his opening scenes."
Following the success of the original novel and the miniseries, Haley was sued by author Harold Courlander, who asserted that Roots was plagiarized from his own novel The African , published nine years prior to Roots in 1967. The resulting trial ended with an out-of-court settlement and an admission from Haley that certain passages within Roots had been copied from Courlander's work.Separately, researchers refuted Haley's claims that, as the basis for Roots, Haley had traced his own ancestry back through slavery to a very specific individual and village in Africa.
After a five-week trial in federal district court, Courlander and Haley settled the case with a financial settlement and a statement that "Alex Haley acknowledges and regrets that various materials from The African by Harold Courlander found their way into his book, Roots."During the trial, presiding U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Ward stated, "Copying there is, period." In a later interview with BBC Television, Judge Ward stated, "Alex Haley perpetrated a hoax on the public." During the trial, Alex Haley had maintained that he had not read The African before writing Roots. Shortly after the trial, however, a minority studies teacher at Skidmore College, Joseph Bruchac, came forward and swore in an affidavit that he had discussed The African with Haley in 1970 or 1971 and had given his own personal copy of The African to Haley, events that took place well before publication of Roots.
Roots originally aired on ABC for eight consecutive nights from January 23 to 30, 1977. In the United Kingdom, BBC One aired the series in six parts, starting with parts 1 to 3 over the weekend of April 8 to 11, 1977. The concluding three parts were broadcast on Sunday nights, from April 15 to May 1.[ citation needed ] The six-part version screened by the BBC is the version released on home video.
|Original run #||Re-edited version #||Approximate time period||Featured Kinte descendant(s)|
|Kunta Kinte||Kizzy||Chicken George||Tom Harvey|
|Part I (90m)||1750–1767||Yes|
|Part II (90m)||1767–1768||Yes|
|Part III (45m)||Part III (90m)||1776||Yes|
|Part IV (45m)||1780–1790||Yes||Yes|
|Part V (45m)||Part IV (90m)||1806||Yes||Yes|
|Part VI (90m)||1824||Yes||Yes|
|Part V (90m)||1841–1847||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Part VII (45m)||1861–1865||Yes||Yes|
|Part VIII (90m)||Part VI (90m)||1865–1870||Yes||Yes|
|Nº||Title||Directed By||Written for Television By||Original runtime||Original air date|
|1||"Part I"||David Greene||William Blinn and Ernest Kinoy||2 h||January 23, 1977|
|2||"Part II"|| David Greene (First Hour)|
John Erman (Second Hour)
|Ernest Kinoy and William Blinn||2 h||January 24, 1977|
|3||"Part III"||Marvin J. Chomsky||James Lee and William Blinn||1 h||January 25, 1977|
|4||"Part IV"||Marvin J. Chomsky||James Lee and William Blinn||1 h||January 26, 1977|
|5||"Part V"||Marvin J. Chomsky||James Lee||1 h||January 27, 1977|
|6||"Part VI"|| Marvin J. Chomsky (First Hour)|
Gilbert Moses (Second Hour)
|M. Charles Cohen (First Hour)|
James Lee and William Blinn (Second Hour)
|2 h||January 28, 1977|
|7||"Part VII"||Gilbert Moses||M. Charles Cohen||1 h||January 29, 1977|
|8||"Part VIII"||Marvin J. Chomsky||M. Charles Cohen||2 h||January 30, 1977|
The miniseries was watched by an estimated 130 million million viewers watched each of the last seven episodes. Eighty-five percent of all television homes saw all or part of the miniseries. All episodes rank within the top 100 rated TV shows of all time.and 140 million viewers total (more than half of the U.S. 1977 population of 221 million—the largest viewership ever attracted by any type of television series in US history as tallied by Nielsen Media Research) and averaged a 44.9 rating and 66% to 80% viewer share of the audience. The final episode was watched by 100 million viewers and an average of 80
|All-time ranking||Households |
|1||Roots Part I||#82||28.84||40.5||61%||January 23, 1977|
|2||Roots Part II||#32||31.40||44.1||62%||January 24, 1977|
|3||Roots Part III||#27||31.90||44.8||68%||January 25, 1977|
|4||Roots Part IV||#35||31.19||43.8||66%||January 26, 1977|
|5||Roots Part V||#21||32.54||45.7||71%||January 27, 1977|
|6||Roots Part VI||#18||32.68||45.9||66%||January 28, 1977|
|7||Roots Part VII||#50||30.12||42.3||65%||January 29, 1977|
|8||Roots Part VIII||#3||36.38||51.1||71%||January 30, 1977|
On February 16–18, 2013, in honor of Black History Month and the 36th anniversary of Roots, cable network BET aired both Roots and its sequel miniseries, Roots: The Next Generations . Celebrating the 35th anniversary of Roots, BET premiered the miniseries on a three-day-weekend showing in December 2012, which resulted in its being seen by a total of 10.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings, and became the number-one Roots telecast in cable-television history. As for the BET network, its 35th-anniversary airing of Roots became its best "non-tentpole" weekend in the network's history. On Sunday, October 18, 2015, TVOne rebroadcast Roots in high definition.
Warner Home Video, which released a three-disc 25th-anniversary DVD edition of the series in 2002,released a four-disc (three double-sided, one single-sided) 30th-anniversary set on May 22, 2007. Bonus features include a new audio commentary by LeVar Burton, Cicely Tyson and Ed Asner, among other key cast members, "Remembering Roots" behind-the-scenes documentary, "Crossing Over: How Roots Captivated an Entire Nation" featurette, new interviews with key cast members and the DVD-ROM "Roots Family Tree" feature.
In 2016, Warner released the 40th anniversary Blu-ray, which restored the program to its original 8 episode format and was completely remastered from the original elements. Along with that it carried over previous bonus material and added some new material.
The miniseries has also been released in the digital format for streaming. Though these versions have the edited 6 episode format.
|1977||Golden Globe Awards||Best Series - Drama||Roots||Won|
|Best Actress - Drama Series||Leslie Uggams||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Limited Series||Roots||Won|
|Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series||David Greene (for "Part I")||Won|
|Marvin J. Chomsky (for "Part III")||Nominated|
|John Erman (for "Part II")||Nominated|
|Gilbert Moses (for "Part VI")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series||Ernest Kinoy and William Blinn (for "Part II")||Won|
|M. Charles Cohen (for "Part VIII")||Nominated|
|James Lee (for "Part V")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lead Actor for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series||Louis Gossett Jr. (for "Part IV")||Won|
|John Amos (for "Part V")||Nominated|
|LeVar Burton (for "Part I")||Nominated|
|Ben Vereen (for "Part VI")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lead Actress for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series||Madge Sinclair (for "Part IV")||Nominated|
|Leslie Uggams (for "Part VI")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Drama Series||Ed Asner (for "Part I")||Won|
|Moses Gunn (for "Part I")||Nominated|
|Robert Reed (for "Part V")||Nominated|
|Ralph Waite (for "Part I")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Drama Series||Olivia Cole (for "Part VIII")||Won|
|Sandy Duncan (for "Part V")||Nominated|
|Cicely Tyson (for "Part I")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Art Direction or Scenic Design for a Drama Series||Solomon Brewer and Joseph R. Jennings||Nominated|
|Charles C. Bennett and Jan Scott||Nominated|
|Outstanding Cinematography for a Series||Stevan Larner (for "Part II")||Nominated|
|Joseph M. Wilcots (for "Part VII")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design for a Drama or Comedy Series||Jack Martell (for "Part I")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore)||Quincy Jones and Gerald Fried (for "Part I")||Won|
|Gerald Fried (for "Part VIII")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Film Editing for a Drama Series||Neil Travis (for "Part I")||Won|
|James T. Heckert (for "Part II")||Nominated|
|Peter Kirby (for "Part III")||Nominated|
|Neil Travis and James T. Heckert (for "Part VIII")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement in Film Sound Editing||Larry Carow, George Fredrick, Colin Mouat, Larry Neiman, Dave Pettijohn, Paul Bruce Richardson, Don Warner (for "Part II")||Won|
|Outstanding Achievement in Film Sound Mixing||Richard Portman, David M. Ronne, Don MacDougall, Curly Thirlwell (for "Part I")||Nominated|
|Willie D. Burton, George Porter, Eddie Nelson, Robert L. Harman (for "Part IV")||Nominated|
|Hoppy Mehterian, George Porter, Eddie Nelson, Arnold Braun (for "Part VII")||Nominated|
|George Porter, Eddie Nelson, Robert L. Harman, Arnold Braun (for "Part VIII")||Nominated|
The History channel produced a remake of the miniseries after acquiring rights from David L. Wolper's son, Mark Wolper, and Alex Haley's estate. The new eight-hour miniseries, with Mark Wolper as executive producer, drew on Haley's novel and the original miniseries albeit from a contemporary perspective.Lifetime and A&E also simulcast it. Will Packer, Marc Toberoff and Mark Wolper executive produced it, alongside Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal. LeVar Burton and Korin Huggins co-executive produced it.
The four-night, eight-hour event series premiered on Memorial Day, May 30, 2016. The ensemble cast includes Forest Whitaker as Fiddler, Anna Paquin as Nancy Holt, Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Tom Lea, Anika Noni Rose as Kizzy, Tip "T.I." Harris as Cyrus, Emayatzy Corinealdi as Bell, Matthew Goode as Dr. William Waller, Mekhi Phifer as Jerusalem, James Purefoy as John Waller, introduces Regé-Jean Page as Chicken George and Malachi Kirby as Kunta Kinte, and Laurence Fishburne as Alex Haley.
Levardis Robert Martyn Burton Jr. is an American actor, director, and children's television host. He is best known for his roles as Kunta Kinte in the ABC miniseries Roots (1977), Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in the Star Trek: The Next Generation franchise (1987–1994), and as host of the PBS Kids educational television series Reading Rainbow for over 23 years (1983–2006), for which he has received 12 Daytime Emmy Awards, and a Peabody Award as host and executive producer of the show.
Alexander Murray Palmer Haley was an American writer and the author of the 1976 book Roots: The Saga of an American Family. ABC adapted the book as a television miniseries of the same name and aired it in 1977 to a record-breaking audience of 130 million viewers. In the United States, the book and miniseries raised the public awareness of black American history and inspired a broad interest in genealogy and family history.
Alex Haley's Queen is a 1993 American television miniseries that aired in three installments on February 14, 16, and 18 on CBS. The miniseries is an adaptation of the 1993 novel Queen: The Story of an American Family, by Alex Haley and David Stevens. The novel is based on the life of Queen Jackson Haley, Haley's paternal grandmother. Alex Haley died in February 1992 before completing the novel. It was later finished by David Stevens and published in 1993. Stevens also wrote the screenplay for the miniseries.
John Allen Amos Jr. is an American actor known for his role as James Evans, Sr. on the CBS television series Good Times and for his portrayal of the adult Kunta Kinte/Toby in the 1977 miniseries Roots, for which he received an Emmy nomination. Amos's other television work includes The Mary Tyler Moore Show, a recurring role as Admiral Percy Fitzwallace on The West Wing, and the role of Washington, D.C. Mayor Ethan Baker in the series The District. Amos has appeared on Broadway and in numerous films in his five-decade career. He has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award and an NAACP Image Award. On film, he has played numerous supporting roles in movies such as The Beastmaster (1982), Coming to America (1988), Die Hard 2 (1990) and Coming 2 America (2021).
Louis Cameron Gossett Jr. is an American actor. He is best known for his role as Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman, winning him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He also won an Emmy Award for his role as Fiddler in the 1977 ABC television miniseries Roots. Gossett has also starred in numerous other film productions including A Raisin in the Sun, The Landlord, Skin Game, Travels with My Aunt, The Laughing Policeman, The White Dawn, The Deep, Jaws 3-D, Wolfgang Petersen's Enemy Mine, the Iron Eagle series, Toy Soldiers and The Punisher, in an acting career that spans over five decades.
Kunta Kinteh Island, formerly called James Island and St Andrew's Island, is an island in the Gambia River, 30 km (19 mi) from the river mouth and near Juffureh in the Republic of the Gambia. Fort James is located on the island. It is less than 3.2 km from Albreda on the river's northern bank.
Kunta Kinte is a character in the 1976 novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family by American author Alex Haley. According to Haley, Kunta Kinte was based on one of his ancestors: a Gambian man who was born in 1750, enslaved and taken to America and who died in 1822. Haley said that his account of Kunta's life in Roots is a mixture of fact and fiction, to an unknown extent.
Roots: The Saga of an American Family is a 1976 novel written by Alex Haley. It tells the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century African, captured as an adolescent, sold into slavery in Africa, transported to North America; following his life and the lives of his descendants in the United States down to Haley. The release of the novel, combined with its hugely popular television adaptation, Roots (1977), led to a cultural sensation in the United States. The novel spent forty-six weeks on The New York Times Best Seller List, including twenty-two weeks at number one. The last seven chapters of the novel were later adapted in the form of a second miniseries, Roots: The Next Generations (1979). It stimulated interest in African American genealogy and an appreciation for African-American history.
Albreda is a historic settlement in the Gambia on the north bank of the Gambia River, variously described as a 'trading post' or a 'slave fort'. It is located near Jufureh in the North Bank Division and an arch stands on the beach connecting the two places. As of 2008, it has an estimated population of 1,776.
Harold Courlander was an American novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist and an expert in the study of Haitian life. The author of 35 books and plays and numerous scholarly articles, Courlander specialized in the study of African, Caribbean, Afro-American, and Native American cultures. He took a special interest in oral literature, cults, and Afro-American cultural connections with Africa.
Jufureh is a town in the Gambia, 30 kilometers inland on the north bank of the River Gambia in the North Bank Division near James Island. The town is home to a museum and Fort Jillifree.
Georg Stanford Brown is an American actor and director, perhaps best known as one of the stars of the ABC police television series The Rookies from 1972 to 1976. On the show, Brown played the character of Officer Terry Webster.
Toby is a popular, usually male, name in many English speaking countries. The name is from the Middle English vernacular form of Tobias. Tobias itself is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew טוביה Toviah, which translates to Good is Yahweh. Yahweh is the name of the Jewish God. Toby is also an alternate form of Tobias.
Roots: The Next Generations is an American television miniseries based on the last seven chapters of Alex Haley's 1976 novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family. First aired on ABC in February 1979, it is a sequel to the 1977 Roots miniseries, tracing the lives of Kunta Kinte's descendants in Henning, Tennessee from 1882 to 1967.
Lifeline Expedition is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 by Briton David Pott. The group believes white people must apologize for the Atlantic slave trade, and that forgiveness can be granted by black people from areas that were involved in it.
Roots: The Gift is a 1988 television film. It is the third installment of the Roots miniseries. The film premiered on ABC on December 11, 1988, with AT&T as the sole national sponsor for the broadcast, and was crafted as a Christmas film. LeVar Burton and Louis Gossett Jr. reprise their respective roles of Kunta Kinte and Fiddler. The film takes place between the second and third episodes of the original Roots series. It was watched by 23.3 million viewers.
Lord Ligonier was an 18th-century British slave ship built in New England that unloaded slaves in Annapolis, Maryland in 1767. The ship was made famous by Alex Haley's novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family, in which it brought his ancestor, Kunta Kinte, from The Gambia to the colonial United States.
Roots is a 2016 American miniseries and a remake of the 1977 miniseries with the same name, based on Alex Haley's 1976 novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family. It first aired on May 30, 2016 and stars Malachi Kirby, Forest Whitaker, Regé-Jean Page, Anna Paquin, Laurence Fishburne, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anika Noni Rose, T.I. and South African actress Nokuthula Ledwaba. It was produced on a budget of $50 million.
The African is a 1967 novel by Harold Courlander.
John Waller was an American politician who served in the House of Burgess in 1714, 1722, and 1742. His militia service under Captain John West saw him earn the title "Colonel", and a sheriff in both King and Queen (1699–1701) and King William (1701–1702) counties of Virginia.