All I have known my entire life is that you should unapologetically love being Black, you should love Black people and take pride in everything we as a people have ever accomplished. I have been taught by my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles (both blood and appointed relatives) about the history of our people and as a parent, I have always tried to pass this lesson on to my children.
Well, like so many of us who are 40 plus, we often either take for granted or forget some of the basic lessons we learned growing up. On Sunday, I was reminded of one of those lessons that I didn’t forget but I quickly realized I had not passed on to my children.
I was 10 years old when I first met Kunta Kinte (Toby), Aunt Kizzy, Chicken George and the rest of the Alex Haley Family. I remember coming home every night and watching and understanding the pain, survival skills and desire for Freedom that ROOTS taught us every night. I remember going to school and every Black boy and girl walking around MAD! After watching them cut off Kunta’s foot, I remembered how I hated Massa Tom Moore when he refused to set Chicken George free and I remembered everyone celebrating when Kizzy spit into Sandi Duncan’s watering cup (I bet you remember all of this too).
Well, last Sunday to the praises of Ms. Cathy Hughes and the TVOne family they showed this entire series in one day. I watched in amazement, along with my children as I went through this journey for the second time, but it also felt like my first time because this time, I was watching it through the eyes of my children.
I have to Thank TVOne for taking me back and reminding me just how incredible that story was. I also realized at that time, that every big star was a part of that show. I was amazed to see so many Black stars in that movie either in major roles or just as bit players, but it was clear every Black actor (and a lot of White one as well) wanted to be a part of this special story.
While watching the show, I saw that the story is coming out on DVD, and while I would love to advertise this product (our sales team is already on top of this...I hope) in the paper, I am not writing this story soliciting advertising. What I am soliciting is for every Black person and every Black family to go out and get a copy of this DVD, so you can share this story with your children, share it with their friends, it should be viewed in every classroom and in some cases we should share this story with their classmates parents.
This is an incredible story. It makes you understand, why Black on Black crime and gang violence are so crazy. Why the N word needs to be banished, particularly among each other, why we cannot degrade our woman, and why we as a people are so strong. When you see how far we had to come, and how much suffering we have had to endure, we realize that we cannot be the catalyst for pulling ourselves and our people back. The Roots Story really is something worth being shared, and if you remember any of these characters or scenes in the movie you also understand what I am talking about.
So, whether you agree or disagree, now more than ever I really need your input. I need to hear from you. I need to know what is going on in our community. I also need to know what other stories we need to tell, and what is on your mind. I really do want to hear from you, I want you to “Talk to Danny.”
Sincerely,Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.President and Executive Editor