Although TV miniseries Roots debuted some 35 years ago, the impact from the epic slave saga is still felt to this day.
In fact every subsequent major slave film, including the latest, 12 Years a Slave, is ultimately likened to Roots.
In an interview with theGrio, Lupita Nyong’o and Alfre Woodard, who currently star in 12 Years a Slave, discuss the parallels between their new film and Roots.
“Roots was iconic, it was watched all over the world.”said Nyong’o. “It showed us a part of American history that we would otherwise not have known. We’re not robbing it [Roots] of it’s place at all. But this is another story, and I don’t think there should ever be just one story about slavery, because slavery was such a multifaceted experience.”
Woodard who stars in 12 Years as a house slave, Mistress Harriet Shaw, says that Roots let the way with exposing history of Africans in the Americas.
“Roots introduced the world to the idea that African slaves brought to the Americas had family, and 12 Years a Slave takes us to visit all of those families,” Woodard said. “Roots is the family album, and 12 Years a Slave are the individual pictures and experiences inside.”
12 Years a Slave hits theaters today in a limited roll-out and will expand nationwide in weeks to come.
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