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History Channel plans to remake (show now) historically problematic ‘Roots’

Big ChiefBig Chief Senior MemberPosts: 32,995 Senior Member
Saw an ad for it on the HC a bit ago and was wondering what the remake would be like. I dunno, but the first one left much to be desired and maybe should have been called Historical Fiction. Sure it is hard to pass on accurate history by word of mouth when there weren't many who could read or write it down.

May be worth watching and good entertainment, I dunno. I hope it provides a lot more factual recreations than the first one did and depicts things a lot more like they happened and we can all learn something from watching it. I don't want a glossed over feel good account either.

So I came across this

http://nypost.com/2013/11/11/history-channel-plans-to-remake-historically-problematic-roots/



"In the wake of successful slavery-themed movies like “12 Years a Slave,” “The Butler” and “Lincoln,” the History Channel just announced plans to remake “Roots,” the landmark 1977 mini-series that drew record ratings. How will they handle the hoax problem?

“Roots” was based on the late Alex Haley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning runaway best-seller, which was billed as a factual account (albeit with some fictional embellishments) of his family’s history from Africa through slavery in the South to present times. All this was said to be based on generations of oral history corroborated by painstakingly researched outside documents.

But as I wrote in these pages back in 2002 (when ABC, which aired the original series, declined to broadcast a 25th anniversary tribute), historians and genealogists now widely agree that “Roots” has been discredited as a historical hoax.

More than a decade later, most people remain totally unaware of the troubling issues behind “Roots” — or simply don’t want to hear that this still-acclaimed work was essentially a fake.

That view is shared even by such noted African-American historians as Harvard’s Henry Louis Gates, a Haley friend who conceded that it’s time to “speak candidly” and admit that “it’s highly unlikely that Alex actually found the village from whence his ancestors sprang,” adding that it was not “strict historical scholarship.” The late John Henrik Clarke, dean of Afrocentrist scholars, said he “cried real tears when I realized that Haley was less than authentic.”

Genealogists, eager to retrace the historical steps Haley claimed he took in his 12-year search for his family heritage, discovered this early on: Documents didn’t match any information Haley cited; the dates were all wrong and so was the supposed slave lineage. Elizabeth Shown Mills, editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, went so far as to denounce Haley’s “subterfuge.”

And the first half of the book — Kunta Kinte’s life in Africa — was blatantly plagiarized from an earlier novel by anthropologist Harold Courlander, who sued Haley, accepting a $650,000 settlement after the court’s expert witness concluded that the copying in the book and the movie was “clear and irrefutable . . . significant and extensive.”

That deal was made after the judge hearing the case, alarmed not only by the extent of the copying but also by Haley’s repeated perjury in court, pressed the sides to settle, then sealed the official file from public view. The judge later admitted (in a BBC documentary that has never run on American TV) that he “didn’t want to destroy” Haley and his reputation.

Perhaps the most damning exposé of Haley’s historical hoax came in a devastating 1993 Village Voice cover piece by Philip Nobile, who’d had access to Haley’s personal papers before they were broken up and auctioned off. There he found compelling evidence that the non-plagiarized section of the book had been primarily written not by Haley but by his longtime editor at Playboy magazine, Murray Fisher.

Moreover, the BBC located a tape of the famous session in Gambia with the griot, or oral historian, who supposedly made the link between Haley’s slave forebears and their African ancestor, Kunta Kinte. It showed the griot’s story being repeatedly corrected by Gambian officials and Haley himself specifically asking for a tale that fit his predetermined narrative.

“Roots” — both book and history — touched an understandable nerve in American society. As Gates has noted, it “captured everyone’s imagination.” And it was a story that African-Americans and well-meaning whites very much wanted to be an accurate depiction of slavery’s evils.

But to suggest that an ostensible work of history shouldn’t be held accountable for its deceptions merely because its heart is in the right place is paternalism at its worst. This sentiment explains why there has been so little coverage of this over the years. (Haley himself once compared anyone attacking the historical truth of “Roots” to Holocaust deniers.)

Yet now the History Channel plans to revive “Roots” for a new generation. Asked if the new series will be presented as fact or if the myriad inaccuracies will be addressed, a network spokeswoman replied: “History is taking everything into consideration as we move forward through the development process.”

No doubt the new “Roots” will tell a dramatic story and most likely will be compelling viewing. But it may well be short on actual history.

Eric Fettmann is a member of The Post’s editorial board.
Filed under roots , television "


And this to be played on Memorial Day (????)

http://roots.history.com/?&mkwid=s71w58FtV|dc_pcrid_111001668434_pkw_%2Broots%202016%20tv%20series_pmt_b&utm_source=google_tune&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=%2Broots%202016%20tv%20series&utm_campaign=G_Roots+-+General&paidlink=1&cmpid=PaidSearch_google_tune_G_Roots+-+General_%2Broots%202016%20tv%20series&gclid=CJnos7HD58wCFdgegQodTYAMFw

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roots_%282016_miniseries%29
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Replies

  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 25,037 Senior Member
    I had no idea!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Sounds about as "historically correct" as "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Fiction at best, and inflammatory at worst.

    Never any mention of the Irish slaves sold in the Caribbean Islands during the 1600's when the slave trade was taking off. I wonder why that isn't taught in history classes?

    A link to that hidden(purged) history:

    http://www.kavanaghfamily.com/articles/2003/20030618jfc.htm
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
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  • shootbrownelkshootbrownelk Senior Member Posts: 2,035 Senior Member
    I didn't like the first "Roots" fantasy....this version with Forest Whittaker looks to be even worse.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Shout a lie loud enough and long enough, and it becomes "fact"- - - -didn't one of the Nazi fanatics say that? "Roots" is a prime example of that philosophy.
    Jerry
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Shout a lie loud enough and long enough, and it becomes "fact"- - - -didn't one of the Nazi fanatics say that? "Roots" is a prime example of that philosophy.
    Jerry

    Joseph Goebbels said it. One of Hitler's henchmen.

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    Obama and Hillary live by the above creed.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    Joseph Goebbels said it. One of Hitler's henchmen.

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    Obama and Hillary live by the above creed.[/QUOT

    Goebbels was Hitler's Propaganda minister. He was a master of BS.

    James Earl Jones is a conservative and a member of the NRA. He is quoted saying that if we take guns from the law abiding good people, then only the bad guys will have them and the good guys will lose. Or something like that.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
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