In this edition of #CultureClassics we take a look at the sequel to one of the biggest TV events in the history of The Culture, Roots: Next Generations.
Debuting this week in 1979, Roots: NG was the follow-up to Roots from legendary writer and creator for The Culture Alex Haley. It continues the fictionalized story of the family of Haley’s family and their life in Tennessee spanning from 1882 to the 1960s and is based on the last seven chapters of Haley’s masterpiece of a novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family. The Kinte descendants experience the end of slavery, both World Wars, the KKK, the Greta Depression, and the birth of the Civil Rights Movement. It was broken down into 7 two-hour episodes making it a true television event especially in the black community where our stories rarely get this amount of air-time.
The series starred James Earl Jones, Ossie Davis, Debbie Allen, Diahann Carroll, Kim Fields, and countless other actors. With everyone giving superb performances and telling the sprawling story filled with pain, heartache, struggle, and triumph. It all payed off as the series ended up being a huge success averaging more than 60 million viewers per episode. The Roots series accomplished two important goals. Fist it was our story, told by us, for us and secondly, it showed that our story is America’s story and that America will watch. And that makes the series a true Culture Classic.
#FunFact: Roots: The Next Generations was produced with a budget of $16.6 million, nearly three times as large as that of the original and an unheard of amount for a black produced religion project.
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Written by @TalentedMrFord