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“Roots”- A Movie Review Essay

The show ‘Roots’ is about one African male (Kunta Kinte) being captured and shipped off to the Americas to serve as a slave until the day he dies.

In this show we learn of the many traumas that Kunta had to get through just to get to the Americas such as the middle passage, where they had barely any room to sit up, they were extremely close together and were chained up for unimaginable lengths of time, where the soon-to-be slaves had to ‘go to the toilet’ where they lay, eat bland and often sickening foods, they caught multiple disease, a lot died on the way to the Americas. Kunta and one of his tribe leaders soon concocted a plan to take a hold of the ship when the un chain every one for their daily ‘dance’, but sadly most died in the revolt especially Kunta’s fellow tribesmen. The thing that still puzzles me about the show is when Mr. Slater has the argument with the captain for slavery, they puzzle me because they were so stupid and untrue some of the arguments he put forth i.e. Cannibalism – which is unfounded and un true, Different breed of human – which is extremely un true and extremely ignorant thing to say.

When Kunta Kinte arrived at Annapolis, Maryland on September 29, 1767, they were thrown into steel cells for the night, and when they woke they were up for auction, When it was Kunta’s turn to be auctioned off he was considered to be ‘pick of the herd’ and was inspected like an item checking for any cuts, bruises or infections, Kunta was sold to a man who owned a tobacco plantation in Virginia, when he arrived at the tobacco plantation he was assigned to another Negro named ‘fiddler’ who was one of the most respected slaves (but still far below every other white person).

Fiddler taught Kunta how to speak English but anger soon arose when Kunta found out that his new name was to be Toby. Fiddler is one of the more interesting servants because he has so much more than the other slaves have, he has an actually bed he can enter the kitchen and he can walk around until something is assigned to him so in a way fiddler kind of sold his soul to get a few extra privileges.

More arguments arose within the white owners family and some company of his about why black people should not be taught how to read the daughter said if they are so in capable of learning then if one can be taught to read then that would prove that they are equal and not a different race but the doctor quickly through sum rubbish together about how learning to read would just harm them selves. Kunta cut free of his chains at one stage and ran off but was quickly caught and severely punished and was even more punished when he refused to learn his new name. But he finally accepts his new name when he was beaten half to death.

In conclusion this movie is very moving to give us an idea of what cruel punishment went on back in the horrific days of the slave trade.


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