Jackson and Ball Discuss Roots from the 1970s to Now | Interview with the Journal of the Civil War Era


Elizabeth Motich interviews Kellie Carter Jackson and Erica L. Ball on the TV mini-series Roots and the 2016 remake for the The Journal of Civil War Era :

“This week on Muster, Dr. Kellie Carter Jackson and Dr. Erica L. Ball, authors of the upcoming book, Reconsidering Roots: Race, Politics, and Memory (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2017) talk about history, slavery, and black genealogy in anticipation of The History Channel’s May 31st premiere of a four-part remake of Alex Haley’s 1977 classic series, Roots. After the first episode of Roots, stay tuned for The Roots of Our History, a documentary about the series.

What do you recall about the original 1977 Roots series?

Prof. Jackson: I remember watching the 1977 Roots for the first time when I was about eight years old. I am one of seven children and we grew up in mostly white communities, so my parents insisted that we read or watch the latest contributions to African American history. Together, we all sat around the television and watched Roots as a family. At age eight, I was sort of traumatized by it! But as I look back, I realized how it and books I read influenced the way I valued American history and my history in particular.

Prof Ball: I remember being quite taken with the 1979 sequel, Roots: The Next Generations. I loved watching James Earl Jones as Alex Haley conducting his search for his family history! Those scenes remained very vivid for me over the years. Roots may well have influenced my decision to pursue this type of work myself. Who knew?…”

Read the entire interview: Envying Roots: The 1970s Mini-Series is Back! – Journal of the Civil War Era

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