My first thought when I heard that Roots was going to be “re-imagined” was why. Why mess with an original…since there was no way they’d be able to do it justice? And I saw the promo for it on Lifetime, and y’all know how they messed up the Aaliyah & Whitney Houston movies. (I later realized it would be on the History Channel and felt better but I still was not convinced this was a good move).
I got it though. There’s a whole generation of folks who have never seen Roots. Who would probably be so turned off by the old school cinematography and bad wigs in the original that they would never get through all of it. Thus never learning what they might not be able to get from history books.
Well I was WRONG. Though this Roots was harder to watch than the original (because of the deeper storylines around the characters and all of the violence and blood and gore), it was NECESSARY and WELL-DONE. I believe a younger generation saw this story for the first time. Remember, that generation is far removed from the Civil Rights struggle and is running out of activists to tell the story. That generation needed this…and mine needed the reminder. Our ancestors went through it. They struggled to survive in a country they were forced into…much like many of my sisters and brothers are STILL struggling to survive. Even when the slave masters broke their skin (with whips and chains), they could NOT break their spirit. They pushed through and gave birth to us. THAT is powerful. That they were able to overcome such adversity and LIVE.
Somebody needed that message. I needed that message. “We” don’t vote when our ancestors couldn’t. “We” don’t read…when our ancestors were not allowed to. “We” don’t look our for each other…support each other…when that’s how our ancestors “got over”. I am grateful for the telling of our story. It doesn’t matter how many times it is told…I will never tire of it. I am also grateful for the character development and how this one was more in line with the book. I am also grateful for great casting and STELLAR acting. I swear everybody from the stage hands, to the set accountant, to the extras (shout out to my boy Cal Williams) to the main actors and actresses to the directors and producers deserve Emmys. That soundtrack deserves a Grammy.
If you missed this series, you missed something very powerful. I can’t stop singing the praises of a piece that was so expertly done and can’t wait to watch it again when my child is older. Your name is your shield, and I am proud to be #KuntasKin.