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Roots - by Alex Haley

"3-disc box set"

"I found this as good today, as I did when I was 12"

"a potential classic which educates"

"an epic drama which has lessons for today"

Roots - Original Series - 25th Anniversary Edition

The television drama which tells the story of the abduction of a black native and his transportation to the States.

Based on Alex Haley's bestseller, the 1977 TV mini-series Roots told the harrowing story of one man's ancestors, commencing with African warrior Kunta Kinte, captured, transported to America, stripped of his dignity, his rights, and even his name. He tries but fails to escape before accepting he can never return to Africa. He marries and bears a daughter, Kizzy, who is callously sold, then raped by her new "master". However, her son, Chicken George, a resourceful dab hand with gamecocks, lives long enough to see his own children attain a liberty of sorts following the Civil War.

Roots is told in the same, accessible way as The Waltons or Bonanza, yet it is never bland or evasive. It leaves no doubt as to the torment and abuse suffered by blacks, and although the series' conclusion is fictionally satisfying, for many of the black characters their only hope lies in generations yet unborn.

It is sturdy enough drama but its greatest, most revolutionary effects were social. It persuaded American audiences to regard their history from a black perspective, and to see how - against odds far more desperate than those the pilgrims faced - Africans laid claim to their status as free African-Americans. Roots was massively popular, and, most importantly, it changed forever the way black people were depicted on American TV.

On the DVD: Extra features include a "Roots Family Tree", a copious, informative audio commentary featuring members of cast and crew, and a documentary, "Remembering Roots".

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