For Our Consideration: The Roots remake highlights the evolution of black storytelling

When the original Roots miniseries aired nearly four decades ago, it was unlike anything else on TV: an award-winning historical phenomenon (based on Alex Haley’s bestseller) that broke ratings records with an all-star cast. The story of Kunta Kinte and his descendants was the first honest, horrific TV depiction of slavery, making clear America’s foundation in white supremacy. How could a remake on a basic cable channel capture that same brutality? At a time when works like Underground, Birth Of A Nation, and 12 Years A Slave have expanded on the realities of slavery, why did we need a Roots remake in 2016?

Forest Whitaker (left), Malachi Kirby (Photo: History)

So much is said about the historical importance and awards of the original Roots, its downfalls are often overlooked. The images of Africa appear incredibly false with no basis in reality, as though someone just decided lots of …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *