As millions gathered for family barbecues, fireworks, parades and festivities on Memorial Day, 5.3 million viewers tuned in to the premiere of the miniseries Roots Remake.
How ironic is it that the history of Memorial Day is deeply rooted in the South and was originally known as Decoration Day for the families of Union soldiers, who died in the Civil War, to honor them and decorate their graves with flowers. As the Roots Miniseries Remake aired on May 30th, 2016, it reminded many of the horrors of slavery our country was built and founded on.
The original Roots 1977 based on Alex Haley’s 1976 novel had a long lasting effect on the viewers, with 31.9 million households watching the story, becoming the most watched TV series in US history. It is something that even most Americans, black and white continue to steer away from, the heinous acts and horrifying images of slavery in America.
Many are wondering was a new Roots necessary? Some artists, such as rapper Snoop Dogg are even protesting against it.
But rapper T.I., who decided to join the cast, is on a different path about why remaking ‘Roots’ is important.”The quest for truth should be a lifelong journey,” he states. “From the time you’re born to the time you die, you’re supposed to be seeking knowledge and truth. This is a piece of it. This is a huge, huge chapter, so I think it’s incredibly important.”
The all star cast of Roots Miniseries Remake includes Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne as Alex Haley, Anna Paquin, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anika Noni Rose,Derek Luke, Mandela Van Peebles, Mekhi Phifer, Tip “T.I.” Harris stars as “Cyrus”, and Malachi Kirby stars as “Kunta Kinte”
Deciding to take on the role of his character Cyrus, T.I. reveals that it was not a very easy choice for him and he gave his long time friend and partner Producer Will Packer a lot of pushback!
“This was an opportunity that he presented to me, and of course initially he got a little bit of push back from me,” T.I. said during an interview with HuffPost. “I will admit that I was one of the ones to say, ‘Man, I don’t know if that needs to be remade.’ It was just a huge undertaking for him as a producer and for me as an actor to sign up to remake such a classic and to tell a story that has so much pain and just so much turmoil involved in it.”
After learning more about Cyrus’s personality , a headstrong runaway slave who fights for freedom with the Union Army against Confederate Forces, T.I. began to try to identify with him.
“I do know what it’s like to have your freedom be taken from you or to not have it be available to you,” he said. “I kind of amplified my thoughts and how I felt when my freedom was separate and apart from me. So I kind of took that and pushed upon it, because Cyrus is actually thee most rebellious and non-subservient character that there is. You never see Cyrus in ‘Roots’ as a slave, he’s always a runaway slave – running, dodging bullets and doing whatever it takes to maintain his freedom. So it wasn’t as slave written as the rest of the characters, but I think all of the characters collectively to the story are important.”
T.I.’s character Cyrus can be seen in the fourth episode of the miniseries.
How do you like the Remake of Roots Miniseries ? Is it necessary for today’s generation?