Tom Harvey (GEORG STANFORD BROWN) assumes the leadership of the black community in Henning, Tennessee from his aging father, Chicken George (AVON LONG). Tom establishes a school but trouble brews when Col. Warner's (HENRY FONDA) son, Jim (RICHARD THOMAS) falls in love with the black schoolteacher, Carrie (FAY HAUSER). Tom meanwhile faces a crisis in his own family when his daughter Elizabeth (DEBBI MORGAN) falls in love with a light-skinned negro who he considers "too white" for her to marry.
Tom Harvey's daughter, Cynthia (BEVER-LEIGH BANFIELD) falls in love with Will Palmer (STAN SHAW) a railroad worker who soon lands a job at the lumber company. Tensions meanwhile mount in Henning as the white community seeks to strip the blacks of their rights. Will's friend Lee Garnet (ROGER MOSLEY) is lynched after accompanying Tom (GEORG STANFORD BROWN) when he fails in his attempt to register to vote.
Seventeen years later: Will Palmer (STAN SHAW) prospers as the owner of the lumber company. His daughter Bertha (IRENE CARA) goes to college where she falls in love with Simon Haley (DORIAN HAREWOOD), a poor sharecropper's son. Bertha picks up Simon's diploma as he leaves school a week early to join the Army and World War I.
Simon Haley (DORIAN HAREWOOD) spends World War I with the 92nd Infantry, Colored, in France. On his return to the States, Simon and his buddies Doxey (CHARLES WELDON) and Haywood (BERNIE CASEY) are greeted by a lynch mob in Knoxville, Tennessee. Simon finally arrives in Henning where he marries Bertha (IRENE CARA) and announces that they are going to Cornell University where he will take a master's degree in agriculture. Fourteen months later they return to Henning with their first son, Alex Haley.
12-year-old Alex Haley (CHRISTOFF ST. JOHN) learns his family history from grandfather Will Palmer (STAN SHAW). Simon Haley (DORIAN HAREWOOD) lands a professorship at an Alabama college where he works with the local rural sharecroppers, helping them increase production, in addition to his classroom work. Bertha (IRENE CARA) learns she has a fatal illness and dies at an early age.
Alex Haley (DAMON EVANS) joins the Coast Guard after leaving college. He meets and marries Nan Branch (DEBBIE ALLEN) before being sent to the South Pacific during WW II. In the service he also discovers a passion for writing inspired by a lucrative business writing love letters for his shipmates. After the war he reenlists and moves to New York with Nan and their two children. His marriage crumbles as he spends all of his time writing.
Alex Haley (JAMES EARL JONES) is now a successful magazine writer; his latest assignment: an interview with Malcolm X. He later goes on to write The Autobiography of Malcolm X. After the black leader's assassination, Haley sets out to discover his own "roots" and launches a twelve-year search, which culminates with his visit to a small African village.
In 1865 the United States' Civil War and slavery end, but Alex Haley's family history continues. A new chapter begins for the descendants of Kunta Kinte and their quest for full freedom in Roots: The Next Generations.
The new roots Slave trade
ROOTS NEXT GENERATION Drama and give you a sense of life before today
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