A new eight-hour event series based on Roots will be simulcast on the History Channel, Lifetime, and A&E over four consecutive nights beginning Memorial Day, May 30, 2016
When Roots was first published forty years ago, the book electrified the nation: it received a Pulitzer Prize and was a #1 New York Times bestseller for 22 weeks. The celebrated miniseries that followed a year later was a coast–to–coast event—over 130 million Americans watched some or all of the broadcast. In the four decades since then, the story of the young African slave Kunta Kinte and his descendants has lost none of its power to enthrall and provoke.
Now, Roots once again bursts onto the national scene, and at a time when the race conversation has never been more charged. It is a book for the legions of earlier readers to revisit and for a new generation to discover.
To quote from the introduction by Michael Eric Dyson: “Alex Haley's Roots is unquestionably one of the nation's seminal texts. It affected events far beyond its pages and was a literary North Star…. Each generation must make up its own mind about how it will navigate the treacherous waters of our nation's racial sin. And each generation must overcome our social ills through greater knowledge and decisive action. Roots is a stirring reminder that we can achieve these goals only if we look history squarely in the face.”
The star– studded cast in this new event series includes Academy Award–winners Forest Whitaker and Anna Paquin, Laurence Fishburne, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Derek Luke, Grammy Award-winner Tip “T.I.” Harris, and Mekhi Phifer. Questlove of The Roots is the executive music producer for the miniseries's stirring soundtrack.