Reading Roots: a quick mid-point reflection

I am now a little over half way done reading Roots. There are 888 pages and I have reached page 500. I decide to reflect on how I feel at this point in the book. There is so much acclaim and history surrounding this book and the 1977 miniseries. I was born after the series premiered and while I might have watched Roots as a child I have to honestly say I don’t remember much. I know many of the classic scenes (Kunta Kinte’s refusal to be called Toby for example) from second hand sources. I’m more familiar with Alex Haley’s Queen. When I found out Roots was being remade I decided it was time to read the famous novel and form my own opinion of the material. With this knowledge I’d be able to watch the rebooted Roots with reasonable expectations and personal knowledge of what to expect.  

Half way through the novel and I believe the acclaim surrounding the novel is well founded. I have been absolutely engrossed in the book. The characterization of Kunta Kinte is brilliant. Watching him grow from a young boy to a grown man has been an amazing journey. Watching Kunta learn more about America and Black Americans has also been some of the more interesting African diaspora centered reading I’ve come across. The segment of Kunta’s time on the slave ship was some of the most harrowing book pages I’ve ever read.  The novel is definitely worthy of all the praise.  I can go on and on about the things that I enjoyed so far. However, this is just meant to be a quick mid-point reflection.  When I reach the end of the book I’ll write everything I’ve thought down and organize it. Additionally, I’ll see if I can make a concise list of things I want from the new Roots series which premieres this Memorial Day.

Have you read Roots?


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