The Relevance of the 'Roots' Remake

Nearly four decades ago, the ABC miniseries Roots was a cultural sensation. Half of all households with televisions tuned in for the finale. Airing a decade after the Civil Rights Movement, for many whites it was the first time they really understood slavery on a visceral level, and the lasting effects it had. A new version of Roots is airing this week on the A&E’s History channel. How does the remake compare with the original? How does it depict slavery differently from the 1977 original?



  • Todd Boyd - Professor of Critical Studies at USC School of Cinematic Arts; Katherine and Frank Price Endowed Chair for the Study of Race and Popular Culture at USC - @DrToddBoyd
  • Eric Deggans - television critic for NPR - @Deggans