Interview Dr. Matthew Delmont: ‘Roots’ Reboot: Still Relevant in the Age of Obama and Trump?

May 18, 2016
46 Views

A

A remake of Roots, the most popular miniseries of all time, will reach television audiences this Memorial Day. Dr. Matthew Delmont is the author of Making Roots: A Nation Captivated and Associate Professor of History at Arizona State University. Amid the protests of “Black Lives Matter,” with a black president in the White House and a presidential nominee threatening to deport undocumented Hispanic immigrants, Dr. Delmont discusses why this groundbreaking series is still as important as ever.

 

In his forthcoming book, “Making Roots: A Nation Captivated,” Matthew F. Delmont, associate professor of history at Arizona State University, narrates the personal odyssey of Alex Haley and the absorbing behind-the-scenes details that led to the widely watched miniseries.

Below, Delmont talks about the 15-year production history of the original “Roots” and how the highly anticipated reboot on the History Channel could pave the way for greater dialogue in a culture that still battles how slavery is taught in schools and how it is portrayed in film.

 

Question: The original broadcast in the ’70s captured a nation trying to heal after the Civil Rights Movement. Now we have a black president and a presumed presidential nominee pledging to deport Hispanic undocumented immigrants. Who will watch, and what will the effect be?

Answer: “Roots” is a story about American identity that is as powerful today as it was in the 1970s. This multigenerational family history reminds viewers that African-American roots run deep in this country and that black people have always had to fight to be fully counted as Americans. Slavery remains one of the subjects Americans are most uncomfortable discussing, but I expect the new series to spark new conversations and arguments about our nation’s history.

Q: The reboot arrives amid the “Black Lives Matter” protests, debates on racial representation and diversity in film and television, as well as long-standing battles over the way slavery is taught in America’s schools. How might a revival of the original “Roots” miniseries affect the way we view this part of our nation’s history?

A: The original “Roots” miniseries is the definitive mainstream portrayal of slavery and changed the ways generations of Americans view the subject. The racial climate in the U.S. is actually tenser today than it was in 1977, and slavery is being debated today with renewed urgency. The new “Roots” series will encourage viewers to see slavery as a story about black families and to identify with the sorrow, pain and joy of enslaved people in ways that are not commonly seen in popular culture.

Q: While the original miniseries broke television viewing records, the way the world consumes entertainment is different today. Do you think the remake will be able to speak to the new generation?

A: The “Roots” remake has the potential to reach across generational lines, bringing together younger viewers who have never seen the original series, and their parents who watched it with their families in the 1970s. Only the Super Bowl reaches the kind of massive audience “Roots” did in 1977, but the new series should reach as many viewers as critically praised shows like “Game of Thrones,” “Mad Men,” or “Breaking Bad,” and the subject matter is more historically important.

Q: Despite its mass audience success, “Roots” fell out of favor among critics and scholars because it was quickly discovered Haley exaggerated, fabricated and embellished pieces of his own history. What more can you tell us from your research regarding the shadow this cast over Haley’s otherwise highly acclaimed bestseller?

A: “Roots” is due for a re-evaluation. The plagiarism cases and other controversies surrounding Haley’s book have prevented people investigating and appreciating how this unprecedented cultural phenomenon was made. “Roots” encouraged more people to engage seriously with the history of slavery than anything before or since, but this legacy has been overshadowed.

 

Advertisements

You may be interested

Vanessa Bell Calloway & More at Black Women Film Network Holiday Party – Pics Here!
Events
24 views
Events
24 views

Vanessa Bell Calloway & More at Black Women Film Network Holiday Party – Pics Here!

Editorial Dept - December 11, 2017

The Black Women Film Network held its annual holiday party at Atlanta's latest hot-spot REVEL. Over 400 guests came out…

Keke Palmer & DMX in “PIMP” Trailer – Watch it Here!
Entertainment
30 views
Entertainment
30 views

Keke Palmer & DMX in “PIMP” Trailer – Watch it Here!

Editorial Dept - December 11, 2017

Billed as a love story, Pimp finds Palmer playing a pimp who is looking for a better life with her…

Alita: Battle Angel Trailer – Check it Out Here!
Entertainment
29 views
Entertainment
29 views

Alita: Battle Angel Trailer – Check it Out Here!

Editorial Dept - December 11, 2017

20th Century Fox has debuted the official trailer for ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL from visionary filmmakers James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez…

Leave a Reply

Galleries
Videos
Posts
All
Vanessa Bell Calloway & More at Black Women Film Network Holiday Party – Pics Here!
Events
24 views
Events
24 views

Vanessa Bell Calloway & More at Black Women Film Network Holiday Party – Pics Here!

Editorial Dept - December 11, 2017

The Black Women Film Network held its annual holiday party at Atlanta's latest hot-spot REVEL. Over 400 guests came out on a rainy Tuesday to celebrate a…

Keke Palmer & DMX in “PIMP” Trailer – Watch it Here!
Entertainment
30 views
Entertainment
30 views

Keke Palmer & DMX in “PIMP” Trailer – Watch it Here!

Editorial Dept - December 11, 2017

Billed as a love story, Pimp finds Palmer playing a pimp who is looking for a better life with her girlfriend (who is portrayed by Haley Ramm).…

Alita: Battle Angel Trailer – Check it Out Here!
Entertainment
29 views
Entertainment
29 views

Alita: Battle Angel Trailer – Check it Out Here!

Editorial Dept - December 11, 2017

20th Century Fox has debuted the official trailer for ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL from visionary filmmakers James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez starring Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly,…

Sundance Selects Datari Turner Productions’ “A Boy. A Girl. A Dream” for 2018 Festival
Entertainment
20 views
Entertainment
20 views

Sundance Selects Datari Turner Productions’ “A Boy. A Girl. A Dream” for 2018 Festival

Editorial Dept - December 11, 2017

Datari Turner Productions (DTP) is proud to announce that its latest film, A Boy. A Girl. A Dream has been selected for the 2018 Sundance Film Festival…

Congrats to Blind Musician Raul Midón on Grammy Nomination – Watch Giant Steps In All 12 Keys Here!
Music
22 views
Music
22 views

Congrats to Blind Musician Raul Midón on Grammy Nomination – Watch Giant Steps In All 12 Keys Here!

Editorial Dept - December 11, 2017

We would like to congratulate Raul Midón on his Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album ‘Bad Ass and Blind’. Blind since birth, Raul Midón is celebrated…

Yung Lean Drops Red Bottom Sky Video – Watch it Here!
Music
26 views
Music
26 views

Yung Lean Drops Red Bottom Sky Video – Watch it Here!

Editorial Dept - December 11, 2017

Following the release of his acclaimed third album Stranger, Swedish innovator Yung Lean is back today to share a new video for "Red Bottom Sky." The video,…

Dru Hill Drops “Favorite Time of Year” – Listen Here! + “Christmas In Baltimore” EP
Music
74 views
Music
74 views

Dru Hill Drops “Favorite Time of Year” – Listen Here! + “Christmas In Baltimore” EP

Editorial Dept - December 8, 2017

Multi-platinum recording group, Dru Hill, is proud to announce the upcoming release of their first full Christmas EP, Christmas in Baltimore! The 8-track project was produced by…

Jason Derulo Drops Tip Toe Video feat French Montana – Watch it Here!
Music
67 views
Music
67 views

Jason Derulo Drops Tip Toe Video feat French Montana – Watch it Here!

Editorial Dept - December 8, 2017

Jason Derulo has released the video for his song "Tip Toe," featuring French Montana. The song is taken from Jason's upcoming new album, reportedly called 777. Check…

Load More PostsCongratulations, you've reached all posts.
Vanessa Bell Calloway & More at Black Women Film Network Holiday Party – Pics Here!
Events
24 views
Events
24 views

Vanessa Bell Calloway & More at Black Women Film Network Holiday Party – Pics Here!

Editorial Dept - December 11, 2017

The Black Women Film Network held its annual holiday party at Atlanta's latest hot-spot REVEL. Over 400 guests came out on a rainy Tuesday to celebrate a…

Keke Palmer & DMX in “PIMP” Trailer – Watch it Here!
Entertainment
30 views
Entertainment
30 views

Keke Palmer & DMX in “PIMP” Trailer – Watch it Here!

Editorial Dept - December 11, 2017

Billed as a love story, Pimp finds Palmer playing a pimp who is looking for a better life with her girlfriend (who is portrayed by Haley Ramm).…

Alita: Battle Angel Trailer – Check it Out Here!
Entertainment
29 views
Entertainment
29 views

Alita: Battle Angel Trailer – Check it Out Here!

Editorial Dept - December 11, 2017

20th Century Fox has debuted the official trailer for ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL from visionary filmmakers James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez starring Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly,…

Sundance Selects Datari Turner Productions’ “A Boy. A Girl. A Dream” for 2018 Festival
Entertainment
20 views
Entertainment
20 views

Sundance Selects Datari Turner Productions’ “A Boy. A Girl. A Dream” for 2018 Festival

Editorial Dept - December 11, 2017

Datari Turner Productions (DTP) is proud to announce that its latest film, A Boy. A Girl. A Dream has been selected for the 2018 Sundance Film Festival…

Congrats to Blind Musician Raul Midón on Grammy Nomination – Watch Giant Steps In All 12 Keys Here!
Music
22 views
Music
22 views

Congrats to Blind Musician Raul Midón on Grammy Nomination – Watch Giant Steps In All 12 Keys Here!

Editorial Dept - December 11, 2017

We would like to congratulate Raul Midón on his Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album ‘Bad Ass and Blind’. Blind since birth, Raul Midón is celebrated…

Yung Lean Drops Red Bottom Sky Video – Watch it Here!
Music
26 views
Music
26 views

Yung Lean Drops Red Bottom Sky Video – Watch it Here!

Editorial Dept - December 11, 2017

Following the release of his acclaimed third album Stranger, Swedish innovator Yung Lean is back today to share a new video for "Red Bottom Sky." The video,…

Dru Hill Drops “Favorite Time of Year” – Listen Here! + “Christmas In Baltimore” EP
Music
74 views
Music
74 views

Dru Hill Drops “Favorite Time of Year” – Listen Here! + “Christmas In Baltimore” EP

Editorial Dept - December 8, 2017

Multi-platinum recording group, Dru Hill, is proud to announce the upcoming release of their first full Christmas EP, Christmas in Baltimore! The 8-track project was produced by…

Jason Derulo Drops Tip Toe Video feat French Montana – Watch it Here!
Music
67 views
Music
67 views

Jason Derulo Drops Tip Toe Video feat French Montana – Watch it Here!

Editorial Dept - December 8, 2017

Jason Derulo has released the video for his song "Tip Toe," featuring French Montana. The song is taken from Jason's upcoming new album, reportedly called 777. Check…

Migos, Nicki Minaj, & Cardi B Drop MotorSport Video – Watch it Here!
Music
64 views
Music
64 views

Migos, Nicki Minaj, & Cardi B Drop MotorSport Video – Watch it Here!

Editorial Dept - December 8, 2017

Migos has released the video for their new hit song "MotorSport" featuring Cardi B and Nicki Minaj. The song which is produced by Murda Beatz and CuBeatz…

Nipsey Hustle Drops “Rap Ni**as” Video – Watch it Here!
Music
114 views
Music
114 views

Nipsey Hustle Drops “Rap Ni**as” Video – Watch it Here!

Editorial Dept - December 5, 2017

Nipsey Hustle has released a video for his new single called "Rap Ni**as." The song is taken from his upcoming album Victory Lap, and the video was…

Load More PostsCongratulations, you've reached all posts.
Lil Kim Drops Video for New Song “Took Us a Break” – Watch it Here
Music
299 views
Music
299 views

Lil Kim Drops Video for New Song “Took Us a Break” – Watch it Here

Editorial Dept - November 3, 2017

Lil Kim has released what her camp is calling a warm up track and video. The song released via eOne Music is called "Took Us A Break."…

Creative’s Cartel Fashion Show & Brand Launch
Fashion
339 views
Fashion
339 views

Creative’s Cartel Fashion Show & Brand Launch

Editorial Dept - November 1, 2017

New York based Creative's Cartel launched their annual Fashion Show & Art Exhibit in the newly built Raymour & Flanigan Showroom in downtown Brooklyn, NY! The event…

Flipmode – Fabolous, Velous, Chris Brown
Music
118 views
Music
118 views

Flipmode – Fabolous, Velous, Chris Brown

CA - November 1, 2017

Fabolous, Velous, Chris Brown Flipmode

No Wahala (Official Video) Demarco ft. Akon, Runtown
Music
500 views
Music
500 views

No Wahala (Official Video) Demarco ft. Akon, Runtown

CA - August 18, 2017

KONVICT KULTURE Presents, DEMARCO - NO WAHALA FT AKON and RUNTOWN Directed by: Isaac Yowman

D’Banj x The Fedz – Comment Ca Va
Music
82 views
Music
82 views

D’Banj x The Fedz – Comment Ca Va

CA - August 10, 2017

D'Banj x The Fedz - Comment Ca Va Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo, known by his stage name D'banj, is a Nigerian musician, singer-songwriter, entrepreneur and television personality. He…

Young Paris explains NEGUS
Culture
685 views1
Culture
685 views1

Young Paris explains NEGUS

CA - May 12, 2017

Watch Young Paris spits HOT FIYAH!! + Explains the meaning of “NEGUS” [embed]https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QE756wLkm_M&ebc=ANyPxKpWtraGOB6QbxxW2mHpce3F9hprvu1BAknGVFTLtiLKZNzKqv1uL4-KFt3N1LFnKs5nxQ3Y#[/embed] Negus from wikipedia 1. Negus is a royal title in the Ethiopian Semitic languages. It…

Young Paris – Best of Me (REMIX) ft. Tiwa Savage
Music
461 views1
Music
461 views1

Young Paris – Best of Me (REMIX) ft. Tiwa Savage

CA - May 11, 2017

YOUNG PARIS, aka Milandou Badila, is parading into the industry like a breath of fresh air. He’s been getting a lot of coverage for his unique blend…

DJ Khaled – I’m the One ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne
Music
794 views
Music
794 views

DJ Khaled – I’m the One ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne

CA - April 28, 2017

"I'm The One" Available at Spotify http://smarturl.it/ImTheOne_Spotify iTunes http://smarturl.it/DJKhaled_ImTheOne Apple Music http://smarturl.it/ImTheOne_AM DJ Khaled online: https://twitter.com/djkhaled https://www.instagram.com/djkhaled/ https://www.facebook.com/officialdjkh... (C) 2017 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment Category Music License Standard YouTube License

Watch Travis Scott x Drake pull up on Coachelle
Entertainment
616 views
Entertainment
616 views

Watch Travis Scott x Drake pull up on Coachelle

CA - April 20, 2017

Watch the video Birdseyeyeview @travisscott lit up Coachella Watch the video Birdseyeyeview #coachella #travisscott #drake #concert #tour #hiphop #trap #music see more @flossmagazine #wethebest #flossmagazine #fans #goosebumps…

The Carters is celebrating, wedding anniversary 
Music
13383 views
Music
13383 views

The Carters is celebrating, wedding anniversary 

CA - April 5, 2017

The Carters is celebrating wedding anniversary with a brand-new music video. Two years ago, on the couple's seventh anniversary, Bey dropped Die For You as a standalone single on…

Load More PostsCongratulations, you've reached all posts.
Load More PostsCongratulations, you've reached all posts.
%d bloggers like this: