I, for one, am ready to watch the ROOTS (Re-imagined) series, which will be aired on the History Channel starting this Monday, Memorial Day. This series- which is based on Alex Haley’s Pulitzer prize winning book, ROOTS (which was later determined in court to be Haley’s plagiarized version of a book written by white author, Harry Courlander)- is already getting lots of buzz in the media. Although it was very distasteful that Haley tried to pass ROOTS off as his own ancestors story, the book and mini-series had been one of the most watched, most talked about series in history.
I’ll admit, I never really watched the series in it’s entirety until around 2013. BET plays the series every year around Christmas time and I can remember my family sitting around watching it when I was a kid; but as a teenager, I couldn’t be bothered to sit down and watch much of anything on tv, let alone a story about slaves. I saw bits and pieces of it..who didn’t hear about Kunta, Chicken George, Kizzy and the rest of them? But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I actually watched the whole series. Seeing how my people were treated had me heated and it was hard to watch at times, but I got through it.
I have heard so many people, especially on social media, say they are sick and tired of slavery stories and movies. I even said that myself, because it seems like every year, here comes another slavery movie. Like, can’t Hollywood come up with anything original? The slavery stories (ROOTS) has been done already. We had The Help, Twelve Years A Slave, D’Jango (which was so comical it was hard to be mad at it, but still). Why, pray tell, do we need ROOTS to be remade. Then I came across a clip of the upcoming series on the Facebook page, and I saw that it’s not a remake, it’s a re-telling. A different version. Almost like a ‘what if’ this had happened instead of what we saw in the original ROOTS. It piqued my interest. See the trailer below.
Then, I was turned on to Underground (another tv show about slaves). That show, the story lines, the acting was all so powerful. It was educational as well as entertaining. Yes, there was some content that ruffled my feathers, but these slaves weren’t your typical, obedient, ordinary slaves that we’re used to seeing on tv. The group of slaves who decided to flee their masters plantation were willing to do whatever they had to do to get to freedom…willing to knock down anybody who stood in their way and fight to the death for what they felt they deserved- FREEDOM! And after watching the clip of ROOTS on Facebook, I have a feeling that this RE-IMAGINED version of this story is going to be just as great.