Roots: The Next Generations

Watch Roots: The Next Generations

  • 1979
  • 1 Season
  • 7.8  (2,774)

Roots: The Next Generations is a gripping television miniseries that explores the lives and experiences of several generations of an African American family. Produced by Warner Bros., the show is a sequel to the iconic 1977 series, Roots, and it boasts an ensemble cast of talented actors, including James Earl Jones.

The series revolves around the family of Alex Haley, a noted author and historian, who wrote the novel Roots, upon which both the first and second miniseries are based. The show opens with the character of Haley, played by Jones, narrating the story of his ancestors, tracing his family tree all the way back to the 18th century and the arrival of his great-great-great-great-grandfather Kunta Kinte in America as a slave.

The subsequent episodes revolve around the lives of Haley's relatives, including his grandparents, parents, and his own children, as they navigate the many obstacles facing African Americans in the 20th century. Throughout the course of the series, viewers are introduced to a wide range of complex characters, each struggling to find their place in a world that values them less because of the color of their skin.

The show tackles a variety of themes, including the legacy of slavery, the enduring power of family and community, and the impact of race on American society. It also explores the intersectionality of race with other forms of oppression, such as class, gender, and sexuality.

One of the standout performances in the series comes from James Earl Jones, who brings a gravitas and authority to the role of Alex Haley. His rich and sonorous voice serves as a powerful anchor for the series, evoking the weight of history and the importance of storytelling in African American culture.

Other notable performances include Debbie Allen as Alex Haley's aunt, Queen; Dorian Harewood as his father, Simon Haley; and Lynn Hamilton as his grandmother, Cynthia, all of whom help to flesh out the family's history and add depth to the series' portrayal of African American experience in the United States.

One of the most powerful elements of the show is the way that it seamlessly weaves together historical events with fictionalized drama. The series covers a wide swath of history, from the early 20th century all the way up to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, and it does so in a way that is both informative and emotionally resonant.

Overall, Roots: The Next Generations is a deeply moving and impactful miniseries that stands as a testament to the resilience, strength, and perseverance of African American people. Its exploration of the complexities of race and identity, and its unflinching portrayal of the legacy of slavery, make it a must-watch for anyone interested in the history of America and the ongoing struggle for racial justice.

Roots: The Next Generations is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (7 episodes). The series first aired on February 18, 1979.

Roots: The Next Generations
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Part 7
7. Part 7
February 25, 1979
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.
Part 6
6. Part 6
February 23, 1979
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.
Part 5
5. Part 5
February 22, 1979
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.
Part 4
4. Part 4
February 21, 1979
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.
Part 3
3. Part 3
February 20, 1979
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.
Part 2
2. Part 2
February 19, 1979
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.
Part 1
1. Part 1
February 18, 1979
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.
Where to Watch Roots: The Next Generations
Roots: The Next Generations is available for streaming on the Warner Bros. website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Roots: The Next Generations on demand at Max, Amazon, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    February 18, 1979
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (2,774)