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'Roots': Here's What You Said About The Remake

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

This week, the History Channel aired its remake of "Roots," the iconic TV miniseries that originally aired back in 1977. "Roots" is the story of West African Kunta Kinte, who was captured and forced into slavery in America, and then it follows his story through generations of his African-American descendents.

Last weekend, we asked listeners to record their reactions to the new "Roots." And today, we get to share some of them with you. We start with Pious Ali from Portland, Maine - no relation to the boxer. Pious Ali grew up in Ghana, and he told us that's where he first watched "Roots" as a teenager in the 1980s.

PIOUS ALI: After reading the book and watching the movie, it gave me this sense of connectivity between myself and the African in the diaspora, especially Africans in America. It is great that they are remaking it because I think it's all about visuals. And the actors who play the movie, that play the roles connect the modern day - the younger generation to this.

KELLY: That's Pious Ali. We also heard from Frank Bonet, who also remembers watching the original miniseries and has a different takeaway.

FRANK BONET: I don't think it's as impactful today as in 1977. I guess this current series is more for a younger or newer generation in which television creates what they believe this generation wants to see instead of what they should see.

KELLY: Here's one more reaction, this one from Justin Rogers. He is 19. He experienced "Roots" for the first time through the remake.

JUSTIN ROGERS: As somebody who is African-American, like, I've heard some things. But nobody really actually, like, sat down and said hey, read this book, watch this special. The one thing that I took away was that they go through generations and generations of a family, and I guess I hope for the future, like, questioning, like, my relatives and really asking them, like, what was it like when you were my age? I'm at a place in my life where I kind of am finding out more and more about myself. And I feel like I can't do that if I don't know the people behind me.

KELLY: That's Justin Rogers, one of many listeners who shared their thoughts with us on the "Roots" miniseries. Well, keep them coming. You can continue the conversation. You can tweet to us @npratc. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.