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7 Interesting facts about Roots

25 October 2017

The miniseries premieres on Monday, 6 November at 8:30PM, so before it starts here are some facts you might not have known.

1. The original iconic Roots: The Saga of an American Family mini-series aired for the first time on ABC in 1977 and aired in more than 50 countries.

2. It is based on the best-selling Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Alex Haley. He originally wanted to name the book Before This Anger as it told the story about race relations and racial unrest in his hometown Henning, Tennessee. He, however, changed the title of his book to Roots in 1972.  

3. Screenwriters started working on the television miniseries before Haley even finished writing his book and had to wait to find out from him how his book ended before they could finish writing the film.

4. Some of the most respected well-known black actors played in the original Roots miniseries such as Cicely Tyson, Maya Angelou, Louis Gossett Jr., John Amos, Leslie Uggams, Madge Sinclair, Ben Vereen and LeVar Burton.

5. Fast-forward to nearly 40 years later, Mark Wolper whose father, David Wolper, produced the original mini-series, decided to remake his father’s work with a fresh new modern feel.

6. Some of the scenes for the modern Roots miniseries were filmed in South Africa at Mtunzini’s Umlalazi River and in the Dlinza Forest, near Eshowe, in KwaZulu-Natal.

7. The star-studded American cast which includes Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne, Anna Paquin and Malachi Kirby, is supported by well-known South African actors which include Nokuthula Ledwaba, Mbulelo Grootboom, and Nandi Nyembe.

Watch the trailer below:

Set your reminders and be sure not to miss the premiere of Roots on Monday, 6 November at 8:30PM. #etvRoots

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