Alex Haley’s “Roots”

This “landmark in television entertainment” reveals history in more than one way. The introduction alone revealed the same attitude towards Africans that was later seen in the movie held by the character called Slaughter. The narrator’s description of Africa as being “primitive” covertly belittled African civilization; Slaughter overtly characterized African civilization as savage and cannibal.  Americans got a look into the ugly face of enslavement and early racism as never before seen on television.  At the time, programs on television with all-star African descent casts were few. Especially rare was programs by an African descent writer about the culture and ways of  Africans.

Roots gave us insight on whom Africans were before enslavement, colonialization, or any type of Diaspora occurred. Roots gave us a glimpse on religious and cultural aspects of life including birth, naming, puberty, responsibilities, and war.

Thanks to for sharing these Alex Haley “Roots” clips.

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