As you learn – or relearn – the story of Kunta Kinte through Roots, the story never gets easier to bear.
In many ways, part two of the tale, which aired Tuesday night, was even more difficult to take.
Let’s see, Kunta (Malachi Kirby) tried to escape again, was recaptured and hobbled as a punishment but then fell in love, married and had a baby with Belle (the beautiful Emayatzy Corinealdi, Hand of God and Miles Ahead). That sounds hopeful, right? Nope.
Just as Kunta was beginning to find happiness and name his baby under the stars, Fiddler had to step in and sacrifice his own life in order to save Kunta and Kizzy’s lives against a racist mob of hateful white men.
While this was an excruciating loss, in large part because Forest Whitaker was so phenomenal in the role, at least old Fiddler defended himself and wiped out a few bigots before they killed him. Now that’s a worthy revision. Tweeters agreed.
Fiddler died for the baby to live. But he died announcing himself as Henry. As my husband just said to me: therefore he died free. #Roots— Natasha Lightfoot (@njlightfoot) June 1, 2016
Later, we watched as Kizzy (Emyri Crutchfield) grew into a headstrong and vibrant young woman who had her father’s fighter spirit and the ability to read. All of this proved to be her downfall of course – the world wasn’t ready for Black Girl Magic back then – and the master sold her away where she was promptly raped and impregnated by a new master. But through her anguish and contemplations of suicide and infanticide, Kizzy chose to live and raise her baby boy. Powerful stuff.
What are your thoughts on Roots so far and did the update to Fiddler’s fate make you cheer or jeer? Weigh in below.