This first installment of the epic miniseries dramatized a cultural perspective, rarely if ever seen out of Hollywood outside of silly, nonsensical, and denigrating Tarzan movies, of rural West African culture and traditions. An enlightening story of the birth, naming, and life of a boy who will eventually go through manhood training to learn about his people's philosophies and their incorporation of the Islamic religion into their daily lives. But in one heart-breaking fell swoop, destiny intervenes and all of this is shattered when the boy-now-young-man is brutally ripped away from his home and sold into chattel slavery across an ocean.
The music by Quincy Jones in this first part really helps set the tone to underscore the culture and practices that are being illustrated and the costumes are beautiful. The gravity of the plot is softened by many poignant comic moments that help to add some realism to the dialog and situations. Definitely an eye-opener.