A dramatization of author Alex Haley's family line from ancestor Kunta Kinte's enslavement to his descendants' liberation.
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Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1977  
Top Rated TV #212 | Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 16 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
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 Bud Harvey (8 episodes, 1977)
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 Dr. William Reynolds (5 episodes, 1977)
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 'Toby' / ... (5 episodes, 1977)
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 Bell Reynolds (5 episodes, 1977)
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 Fiddler (5 episodes, 1977)
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 Ames (5 episodes, 1977)
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 Ol' George Johnson / ... (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Kunta Kinte / ... (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Mrs. Reynolds (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Mathilda / ... (4 episodes, 1977)
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 'Chicken' George Moore / ... (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Mrs. Moore (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Kizzy Reynolds / ... (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Tom Moore (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Missy Anne Reynolds (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Capt. Thomas Davies (3 episodes, 1977)
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 Wrestler (3 episodes, 1977)
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 Slater (3 episodes, 1977)
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 John Reynolds (3 episodes, 1977)
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 Harlan (3 episodes, 1977)
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 Evan Brent (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Tom Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Nyo Boto / ... (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Kintango (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Omoro (2 episodes, 1977)
Hilly Hicks ...
 Lewis Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)
Hari Rhodes ...
 Brima Cesay (2 episodes, 1977)
William Watson ...
 Gardner (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Irene Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Fanta (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Sam Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Lila Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)
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 John Carrington (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Grill (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Virgil Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Martha Johnson (2 episodes, 1977)
Lee de Broux ...
 Trumbull (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Fanta / ... (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Genelva (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Noah (2 episodes, 1977)
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 The Drummer (2 episodes, 1977)
Pat Corley ...
 Referee (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Mingo (2 episodes, 1977)
Stan Haze ...
 Field Singer / ... (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Man at Cockfight (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Ordell (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Stephen Bennett (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Melissa (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Sam Bennett (2 episodes, 1977)
Elma V. Jackson ...
 Mama Ada (2 episodes, 1977)
Lillian Randolph ...
 Sister Sara (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Leonard (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Jemmy Brent / ... (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Binta (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Aurelia (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Kailuba (2 episodes, 1977)
Ann Weldon ...
 Mary (2 episodes, 1977)
Rebecca Bess ...
 Girl on Ship (2 episodes, 1977)
Fred Covington ...
 Auctioneer (2 episodes, 1977)
Joe Dorsey ...
 Calvert (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Slaver (2 episodes, 1977)
Rachel Longaker ...
 Caroline (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Young Missy Reynolds (2 episodes, 1977)
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Storyline

A saga of African-American life, based on Alex Haley's family history. Kunta Kinte is abducted from his African village, sold into slavery, and taken to America. He makes several escape attempts until he is finally caught and maimed. He marries Bell, his plantation's cook, and they have a daughter, Kizzy, who is eventually sold away from them. Kizzy has a son by her new master, and the boy grows up to become Chicken George. He's a legendary cock fighter who leads his family into freedom. Throughout the series, the family observes notable events in U.S. history, such as the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, slave uprisings, and emancipation. Written by Eric Sorensen <Eric_Sorensen@fc.mcps.k12.md.us>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Saga of an American Family.


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Raíces  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(8 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The boy that portrayed baby Kunta grew up to form the successful 1980's singing group The Boys, with his two older brothers and his younger brother. See more »

Goofs

When Kunta holds baby Kizzy for the first time, Kunta's mouth is visible at the left edge of the screen. He speaks, but his mouth doesn't move. See more »

Quotes

Kunta Kinti: Chains ain't right for niggers, Fiddler!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The PJs: The Last Affirmative Action Hero (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Oluwa
by Quincy Jones
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User Reviews

 
Historically Inaccurate depiction of slavery
13 May 2014 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

Let me start off by saying I don't hate this series. In fact, it is actually quite good. The problem is Roots has become somewhat of a black culture idealization of what slavery was like, and it is not even historically accurate.

In the 18th century, the West African slave trade was a seasoned machine, and other than the Portuguese, "white men" rarely set foot on the continent for more than a few weeks, as they lacked the immunities to fight off many of the diseases that were prevalent in the region. As such, the slave trade was really conducted at the auction block, after the slaves were captured. "White men" didn't often go and capture their slaves themselves, they bought them from tribesman and other more prominent African slave traders. The concept of owning slaves has existed well before the invention of the boat, so until the invention of the boat and then the pressures from the Catholic church and other churches to stop enslaving its own people, slavery was a way of life that rarely migrated beyond the immediate reaches of that particular countries borders.

It is only in recent centuries that slavery crossed oceans, a time when everybody was purchasing slaves. Half the population of Ireland was wiped out, lots of poor European countries were wiped out, the Philippines even up until the early 1900's, West Africa, East Africa, China, Russia, etc. There is obviously an agenda with Roots as the writer has personal feelings of animosity however I feel the historical inaccuracy for the beginning of this mini-series seriously hurts the amount of respect I can give to the show as a whole.

Like I said its good if you are looking at it as a fictional show and nothing more, but if you ever use Roots to combat someone who actually knows history, you will lose every time.

Roots trivializes the slave trade for the black community and creates a slanted view at the atrocities that existed far before a black man was ever enslaved.


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