Roots: The Complete Miniseries

Season 1 Episode 2

Part 2

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 24, 1977 on ABC

Episode Recap

As the slave ship Lord Ligonier continues towards America, the captives below deck, lead by Kunta Kinte's wrestler teacher Okiyu, begin planning their escape. The first mate Mr. Slater, having had many such voyages under his belt, becomes suspicious of the murmurs going on below deck and warns Captain Davies, who is convalescing from a bout of Dengue fever. However the Captain has essentially descended into denial and continues to delegate the cargo responsibility to his first officer. The time for action eventually presents itself when Slater harshly reprimands one of the crew in front of his crew mates while a group of Africans are on deck exercising. The distraction prompts Okiyu to give the signal and the carnage begins, but the insurrection eventually fails, but not without the loss of both Okiyu and Slater, among many others on both sides.
The ship finally arrives in Annapolis, MD in 1767 after a 3 month journey from the Gambia River, with 98 surviving Africans but also with 1/3rd of the ship's crew lost to the uprising. The captives are transferred ashore and held for auction. Kunta Kinte watches angrily as a young woman and as many Africans die as well, including one of Kunte Kinte's most revered teachers. Kunte saw Fanta that he met when he was undergoing manhood training back home, is sold off to a Virginia buyer. When Kunta's time comes, he is caught in a bidding war between Fanta's buyer and another bidder, but he is eventually sold to tobacco farmer John Reynolds, is taken to Spotsylvania, Virginia, and is given the English name Toby by his new owner. Reynolds' slave Fiddler, who originally spotted Kunta and recommended him for purchase, is tasked to take responsibility for Kunta -- including teaching him the English language and how to work as a field hand, much to the surprise and disapproval of the plantation's Irish overseer Mr. Ames.

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