Social media didn’t exist to react to the 1977 premiere of Roots on ABC — but there was no doubt that America was watching. Now, at a time where race is still at the forefront of politics and culture, Roots is being reborn.
The new series stars Malachi Kirby as Kunta Kinte and Rege-Jean Page as George, the son of a slave and her owner. Familiar faces appear, particularly in later episodes, including Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anna Paquin, Laurence Fishburne, Forest Whitaker and Matthew Goode. Like the 1977 series and Alex Haley’s original novel, Roots will tell the story of slavery in the United States from the colonial era throughout and after the Civil War.
The first of Roots‘ four episodes airs on the History Channel on Memorial Day, May 30.