”Roots” is one of 10 best miniseries on DVD
CAST OF THOUSANDS John Amos, Leslie Uggams, Ben Vereen, Louis Gossett Jr., Cicely Tyson, O.J. Simpson, Georg Stanford Brown, Edward Asner, Ralph Waite, Robert Reed, Lorne Greene, Sandy Duncan, Roxie Roker, Madge Sinclair, Lloyd Bridges, Chuck Connors, Richard Roundtree
BREAKOUT STAR Future Star Fleet officer LeVar Burton (pictured), as the young Kunta Kinte
MINI-SUMMARY Biographer Alex Haley traces the history of slavery in America through the lives of several generations of his own ancestors.
HIGHLIGHTS Fellow slave Fiddler (Gossett) teaches the captive African Kunta to speak English; Kunta’s grandson Chicken George (Vereen) earns his freedom.
IMPACT The most watched miniseries of all time, Roots forced many Americans to confront for the first time the horrors and legacy of slavery. It also sparked a passion for genealogy that continues to this day.
FOLLOW-UP The 1979 miniseries Roots: The Next Generation completed the story, tracing Haley’s family tree from Emancipation to the present. Burton and Gossett returned as Kunta and Fiddler in the Christmas-themed movie Roots: The Gift (1988). Halle Berry plays Haley’s paternal grandmother in the miniseries Queen (1993).
EW GRADE B+