Movies and TV Shows

What I Learned as a Black Woman Watching Roots

Author : Alexandria Traylor |

The mini-series Roots has been a staple documentary in black culture for nearly forty years. It has consistently been used as a tool to educate the future generations about the true history of Africans turned American. The epic novel of Kunta Kente and his descendants has been remade, once again, into the Roots mini-series by the History channel presented by Lifetime. This awe inspiring story has many parallels to the plight of black Americans today.

  1. Protecting Our Roots

It is important that the message conveyed in Roots is perpetually passed down throughout the generations of black America. It is absolutely impossible for the next generation to excel without a proper knowledge of its past. By recognizing where we have come from, we are able to refocus on where it is that you want to be in the future. We learn to be gracious in our future come up in respect to the previous sacrifices made. Opportunities seen today were not even available ten years ago for the black community. It is also important to remember past oppressions. Oppression can be mental , physical, or even economical.  Unfortunately, history has a way of repeating itself.  There are systems in place to keep those that have made lifestyle mistakes pay for them unwillingly for the rest of their lives. It seems as if the black community is the only ones that can save themselves.

     2.Making Provisions for the Future Our Roots

Similarly to Kunta, Kizzie, and Chicken George, it is up to us to pave the way for our future generations. Each protagonist ensured that their children would live better lives than what they had in one way or the other. They didn’t set out to alleviate all of the potential problems that their posterity would possibly face. Instead they gave them life proverbs to live by and allowed their children to make their own decisions regarding their own life. It is our duty to make a way, clear a path, so that the future generation will have open permission and room to thrive in a way that we didn’t. It is our duty to teach them to be innovators while overcoming racial stereotypes.  There are also unspoken prejudices lived out each day by the hard worker and entrepreneur through the form of unseen promotions and declined business loans.


  1. Propelling in Remembrance of Our Roots

It is our responsibility to be catalysts for change when it comes to celebrating black history, its achievements, as well as its contributions to changing the face and culture of American history.  Some of us may be the only African American representatives that individuals may come in contact with. It is up to us to educate the country on what cultural norms and traditions are  important to us and why. Instead of attempting to conform to the majority’s standards, we are in an optimal position to create our own standards. We can be spokespeople for what our community’s needs are as brand ambassadors, council men and women, and entrepreneurs in under-represented industries. Our culture is the backbone of American culture. It’s time for us to recognize this fact and capitalize on it.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top