Racism in the Mini-Series "Roots"

Topics: Slavery, Ku Klux Klan, Racism Pages: 3 (1070 words) Published: July 2, 2012
Prejudices and Disrimination Found in "Roots"

Prejudices and Discrimination Found
In the Story of Roots

Shamika Crain
June 14, 2012

Prejudice and discrimination occur in everyday life. People use these tools of dominance when choosing what one likes or does not like to eat. In serious cases, prejudice and discrimination between the races, the superior and inferior is witnessed throughout history. Many movies and books attempt to inform their readers and viewers of the inequalities and injustices among diverse cultures.

One in particular is the epic six part miniseries Roots (1977) based on the 1967 novel by African American author Alex Haley, telling the story of Haley’s ancestors. Many consider this one of the most important novels and television mini series of all time. It is said to have touched the hearts and gripped the minds of all who are fortunate enough to see or read the story. It gives a remarkable account 200+ years of slavery and a deep look into the destruction and dehumanization of normal African families, their enslavement and or murder of family members and friends. This series let the world know the untold truths of how slaves were treated. Roots informs of the rape, bondage, and torture. It is an historical outlook on racial discrimination between whites and blacks that still exists today. It shows the battle for the superior to control or to kill off what they do not know or understand and emphasizes the inferiors need to survive even when all the odds are against them. There are two theories that this story relate to the best they are the Authoritarian-Personality and Individuals vs. Situations theories (Merger, 2008). Roots depicts the life of Mandinka tribe member Kunta Kinte from his time as youth in Gambia, West Africa, his old age as a beaten down plantation slave who is still proud of where he came from. Slave traders kidnap young Kunta in 1767 around...

References: MacDonald, J.F. (2009). The roots phenomena [Review of the 1977 mini series
Roots] Black and White Television.
Merger, M. (2008). Race and Ethnic Relations (8th Ed.). Thomson Learning.
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