When I saw the promos for the A&E’s reboot of the Roots mini-series, I immediately thought, “Why not run this for Black History Month.” Further perplexing, the miniseries debuted over Memorial Day week at that. I mean there are cookouts, the NBA playoffs and the kickoff to the usual summer shenanigans; surely people would rather flock to more fun-filled, far less depressing entertainment than the updated adaptation of Alex Haley’s infamously uber-heavy Roots. No?
Well, I was wrong. Despite Snoop’s urge to boycott, the first episode of the four-day series became the most-watched cable mini-series premiere in three years. And I’m quite sure the impressive cast of actors, such as Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne, Anika Noni Rose, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Derek Luke and Mekhi Phifer, contributed to the overwhelming appeal of the Roots remake.
So I guess this makes 2016 the unofficial Black History Year. And I believe this means we are no longer delegating celebrations of our blackness and/or looks into our history to just the month of February (as evidence by the popularity of WGN’s Underground, Beyonce’s “Formation,” this year’s diversity on Broadway, etc.).
So if you were one of the 5.3 million Monday night Roots viewers, kudos to you. If not, go online to History channel to catch up and then tune into the final installment, airing tonight. And while you’re at it mark your calendars or hit your computers for these other black history films, documentaries and shows to watch.
6 Black Films and Documentaries to Watch[/tps_header]
In case you missed it, BET recently aired the documentary Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement, which is executive produced by Grey’s Anatomy actor Jesse Williams. You can watch it online at BET.com by signing in with your service provider.