DVD: Roots

Luke Skywalker was not 1977's most popular epic hero; that was Kunta Kinte, the African whom author Alex Haley identified as his ancestor and whose family's 200-year saga became a 12-hr. ABC miniseries that broke ratings records and gave Americans of all shades a serious lesson in the horror of slavery. The event is recalled in an NBC special (this Friday) and the series' DVD release. Sprawling and stolid, Roots today evokes two vanished eras: the antebellum South, when blacks could earn dignity but not freedom; and those eight wintry nights when a whole nation could sit, rapt and appalled, before...

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