The Joy Theater recently (on May 19, 2016) hosted a special advance screening of the upcoming, reimagined Roots miniseries on behalf of the History Channel & A+E Studios. The miniseries will begin to air this Memorial Day, May 30, 2016.
As the lights finally darkened, and the chatter respectfully ceased, the audience quickly became enthralled with this updated depiction of Roots. Newcomer, Malachi Kirby, is incendiary as Kunta Kinte from his very first moment on screen. Malachi’s fresh face and powerful presence will undoubtedly leave an impact on you for years to come. Another performance to note is that of Forest Whitaker, who plays Fiddler, a man inspired by Kunta's determination to regain his freedom.
Once the screening was finished, the panel discussion commenced with moderator Gina Swanson, uttering “Wow.” Quick and to the point, it was the perfect encapsulation of the viewing experience. The panel consisted of Dr. Denese Shervington, Freddi Evans, Jarvis DeBerry, Dr. Kim Vaz-Deville and Jeff Johnson. A central theme that resonated and dominated the discussion was the concept of freedom. A parallel drawn from Kunta, who went from a free man with educational aspirations to a warrior battling enslavement, refusing to let his country, culture and name be taken away from his mind, from his soul.