The groundbreaking 1977 short film ‘Roots’ returns for its 45th anniversary

FILE PHOTO: Louis Gossett, Jr. Introducing the In Memoriam segment of the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood
FILE PHOTO: Louis Gossett, Jr. presents the In Memoriam segment of the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 28, 2016. REUTERS / Mario Anzuoni

February 25, 2022

(Reuters) – The groundbreaking TV skit “Roots,” which tells the story of Kunta Kinte, kidnapped in Africa and sold into slavery in the United States, is celebrating its 45th anniversary with a re-release on home entertainment and HBO Max.

Based on Alex Haley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the series was a huge hit, sweeping Emmys and Golden Globes and was watched by nearly half of America when it first aired in 1977. , according to Warner Bros.

“It’s an incredible work of art,” said actor John Amos, who played the older Kunta Kinte in the film. “Everybody’s proud of that and I think that’s the key factor that distinguishes ‘Roots’ and its quality from most other shows going on at the time.”

Amos said he believes now is a good time for people to revisit the story.

“We don’t seem to have learned what we should have learned and kept for a while after ‘Roots’,” Amos told Reuters. “Dedication rose… but it seemed to have dissipated over the years to the point where we fell apart because of the racial dissent in the country and all that went with it.”

Several US school boards have recently banned the book, and there have been protests against the influence of Critical Racial Theory, which opponents see as anti-white and anti-American.

Amos believes that people need to learn from the past, no matter how terrible.

“We are at a very dangerous point. When history begins to be rewritten and erased, there is no future,” he said.

(Reporting by Rollo Ross; Editing by Diane Craft)

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Dais Johnston

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