The power of 'Roots': Special celebrates 25th anniversary of landmark miniseries
Tuesday, January 15, 2002
By Monica L. Haynes, Post-Gazette Staff Writer
For eight consecutive nights in January 1977, millions of Americans watched the groundbreaking, history-making saga of an American family who did not come over on the Mayflower or pass through Ellis Island. "Roots," the story of Kunta Kinte, a West African enslaved in the United States, and his descendants, captivated the American television audience as no other dramatic program had done before.
LeVar Burton, who starred as the young Kuntu Kinte in "Roots," says he "had no thought or expectation of what it would lead to." It was television at its best -- controversial, thought-provoking, entertaining and a ratings hit. At some time during the miniseries' eight nights, 130 million Americans watched "Roots," and the series went on to garner countless awards including nine Emmys and a Peabody.
Roots: Celebrating 25 Years (2002) TV Special
Cast: LeVar Burton, Tina Andrews, Maya Angelou, Alex Haley, Will Smith, Ben Vereen, Leslie Uggams