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BLOGGING FROM A TO Z

A 1970’s Time Capsule

POP CULTURE

Be sure to visit my other post today: Rocky Horror Picture Show

The A to Z Challenge has dueling decades going on.  Check out the 1980s theme from a fellow blogger HERE

Roots

Roots is a television miniseries in the USA based on Alex Haley’s 1976 novel, entitled Roots: The Saga of an American Family.  Aired by ABC-TV, in 1977, Roots received 37 Emmy Award nominations and won nine. It also won a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award.  The series finale holds the record as the third-highest-rated US television program.

Alex Haley

Alex Haley

In the series beginning, we see the story of Kunta Kinte born in Gambia, West Africa in 1750.  As he grows to manhood in the Mandinka tribe, he takes part in tribal manhood training and later witnesses white men with firearms.  He is captured and sold to a slave trader where he journeys to Colonial America.  The ship arrives in Annopolis, Maryland and the slaves are sold at auction.  A plantation owner buys Kunta Kinte and gives him a new name, Toby.  An older slave and fiddler is assigned to teach Toby English and to train him to be a slave.  From the beginning, Kunta Kinte struggles to be free and has several unsuccessful escape attempts and persistently voicing that his name is Kunta Kinte.  He is whipped until he acknowledges his name is Toby.

LeVar Burton as Kunta Kinte

LeVar Burton as Kunta Kinte

The mini series continues with the story of Kunta Kinte as an adult and then several generations of his family through the l8th and 19th century including the Civil War and the post war period.

Adult Kunte Kinte and his wife, Belle

Adult Kunte Kinte and his wife, Belle

In the end, Alex Haley takes the viewer to Kunta Kinte’s great-great-granddaughter and then to himself.

The program’s popularity lead to millions of people researching their own roots.

A to Z on the Music Charts

Reunited by Peaches and Herb reach number 1 on Billboard Hot 100 on May 5, 1979 and stayed number 1 for four weeks.

A to Z At the Movies

The top grossing film of 1976 and number 14 for the decade, Rocky, the story of a prize fighter became a mega movie franchise.

Sylvester Stallone as Rocky on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Sylvester Stallone as Rocky on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum.

All images in this article are in the public domain. For any YouTube clips embedded in my posts, I am not the uploader.
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12 responses

  1. Gail says:

    In 1980 I attended the World Conference on Records in Salt Lake City–It was the first Genealogical Conference of its kind, and Alex Haley was the guest speaker. His book, Roots, sparked a huge interest in genealogy and family history, especially among African Americans. It was amazing!

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  2. Great post! Roots was so important! I almost wrote about Rocky – well 3 and 4 since they were in the 80s but I write about raising Arizona instead. I love rocky but I like the original and the sequel the best but since they were in the 70s I went with raising Arizona

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  3. artistpath says:

    I remember watching Roots as a teenager…so powerful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Birgit says:

    I watched Roots and was riveted. I remember Sandy Duncan played the daughter of a plantation owner who used to be a friend of Kinte’s daughter. When she wouldn’t help her former friend, Leslie Uggums spit in her drink. I always remember that because I thought it was gross but happy she did that.

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  5. Liam says:

    Rocky was on of my dad’s favorites. I remember watching it on the night after his funeral.

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  6. Blog hopping from North Carolina during the #Challenge. I decided to start with bloggers WAY dow the list figuring they wouldn’t get as many visits. Yours has always been a favorite blog…SO WELL DONE ALWAYS. Inviting you to TEA today-part of my theme of hotels and inns this year. Hope you have time and interest.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. greyzoned/angelsbark says:

    Roots was riveting. I just heard the other day that Roots is coming back!
    And who doesn’t love Rocky?! Such a great movie.
    I forgot all about Reunited. Didn’t realize it stayed at #1 for four weeks.
    Thanks for bringing back the memories…

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    • I heard that too about Roots. I had watched the full mini series last year again and found the quality of the film dated. A refresh may be a good thing. Can’t beat those original characters such as Lavar Burton as Kunte Kinte and Ben Vereeniging as Chicken George.

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