Roots: The Next Generations

Season 1 Episode 4

Part 4

0
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Feb 21, 1979 on ABC
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
5 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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In a flashback of a military gallows in 1917 Texas, a group of black soldiers from the 24th Infantry, convicted for various crimes including mutiny, are hung. Fast forward to 1918 and the local church in Henning, Tennessee hears about the military's atrocities in a sermon, which frightens Bertha into imagining the same may happen to Simon. Meanwhile, Simon's 92nd Infantry are going through basic training but face many injustices at the hands of the locals in the Illinois town where their camp is located. Simon and his all-black company finally head overseas and fight valiantly in France under the command of a white Lieutenant. After a gas attack, the unit is taken to a hospital and then sent home after a brief period of R&R in France. However the now battle-hardened men face an escalation of racism, harassment, and violence, while the Spanish Flu rages throughout the country. Despite this, Simon and Bertha have a happy reunion and eventually marry, with intentions to move to Ithaca, New York so Simon can get his Masters at Cornell. They eventually return home from New York with a baby who they name Alex.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A history lesson...

    10
    In a further attempt to frame the main story within historical context, this episode dives head-first into the injustices suffered by African American men in the U.S. military. From the very beginning, with a dramatic sequence showing the military gallows where convicted African American soldiers were hung in Texas, through to the segregated platoons in WW I Europe, one wonders how much more a put-upon group can take, particularly when they return to the U.S. to a frightened segment of the population who fear these battle-hardened men and their ability to use a gun. However the episode also shows what families did and still do to survive such treatment, and how life must go on. We also see how a family will strive to obtain a higher education and how this can help open the door, albeit even if just a crack, to moving up in society. And the result of what has been built up to reach this point in the miniseries, is the birth of the author of this story, Alex Haley.



    An excellent episode that adds the right amount of historic context regarding little known facts about the injustices suffered during the WW I era.moreless
Bever-Leigh Banfield

Bever-Leigh Banfield

Cynthia Palmer

Guest Star

Diana Douglas

Diana Douglas

Mrs. Andy Warner

Guest Star

Bruce French

Bruce French

Calloway

Guest Star

Debbi Morgan

Debbi Morgan

Elizabeth Harvey

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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