Friday, May 13, 2016

Buzzing about Legends And Legacy

Seems like it was just the 1st of the month, when I received my invitation from the Center for Civil and Human Rights to attend the screening and Q&A of the History Channel's reproduction of the mini-series Roots.  As I reserved my ticket and tried to figure out what I would wear as I walked the red carpet, I couldn't help but think why on earth were they making a new version!?! I mean after all the awards and records that the original won and still holds (i.e. most watched mini-series of all time! 37 Emmy nominations)

Anyhoo the days flew by and it's the night of the screening...turns out it was business casual attire, so I threw on a simple t-shirt dress & heels... then I made my way to the "Center".

I'd watched the trailer (watch it below) and it did look good but I kept wondering, aren't there other African American stories that could be told?  Still a bit miffed as to why they were doing the remake...I followed everyone into the auditorium the lights were dimmed and we were about to watch the re-make of ROOTS.

                  Whew what an awesome adventure that was! 

I know after watching the trailer, you kinda know what I'm talkin about.... but baaaaby wait until you watch the first episode.  

So after the screening, there was this fantastic panel that was hosted by Jeff Johnson from BET; with producer Will Packer, Ambassador Andrew Young, T.I. and Phaedra Parks. There were also quite a few Bravolebrities in attendance as well as a handful of social influencers such as myself. But the real "stars" were the millennials who were present!

These young people ranged from our talented 10th as the saying goes, to the extremely street savvy youngster and they had a ton of great questions for the panel. By the time they’d taken the third question though it was revealed to me why it was important for the History Channel to partner with Will Packer and do a re-make of the series. While each of the millennials (all born & raised in Atlanta), asked some pretty poignant questions of Jeff and the panel, all three said that they had never watched the original, read the book and only one had heard of the story before! I was flabbergasted!

In 1976 when the book came out I was 9yrs old and I had read the book,before watching the series! Not because anyone forced me to, but because I read about it in Ebony Jr. and my older cousins were reading it…shoot, they were even reading it at church!

I was confused as to how so many African Americans had yet to read this story!

My son had read Roots and The African before he started school (truth be told, we took turns reading pages from those 2 books the summer he turned 5) I used reading those books with him as quality family time! A distraction for the fact that he wasn’t going to be watching TV in the evenings, that summer, since he did so much of that at his grandmother’s during the day.  And then it was also a requirement for him to read Roots in high school!

I’ll say it again, Will Packer did a phenomenal job of adding a back story of realism and truth to the series; a truth, that the world wouldn’t have been able to handle in 1977! 

Frankly with all that is happening in the Race for the White House, this re-make was right on time. Hopefully people will watch and conversations will be started, that will get people fired up and registered to vote!

So have a viewing party this coming Memorial Weekend and start a conversation about race and legacy, because as GG and Big Mama Relf always said to me, to know from where you and your people come from is a road map to your destiny!

Go ahead start a conversation with your family and leave them with a legacy of wanting to know from whence their people came.

Alright I gotta get back to work!  It's aMays-ing how quickly the month of May is buzzing by, smooches!

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