Roots: The Next Generations

Season 1 Episode 6

Part 6

0
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Feb 23, 1979 on ABC
8.5
out of 10
User Rating
5 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Seven years have passed since Alex's mother's death and the Haley family has moved to Elizabeth City, North Carolina where Simon is teaching agriculture at the local state teacher's college after remarrying. Alex has decided to drop out of college and return home, immediately finding a job with the WPA for $1 a day. Simon, realizing that Alex was apparently too young when he was sent off to college, recommends that Alex enlist in the military. Alex decides to join the Coast Guard in Norfolk, Virginia, but sadly discovers that his only opportunity there is working in the ship's galley. Alex eventually meets a young lady at a weekly church social and after war is declared, marries her before he is sent off to the south pacific. While at sea, he learns that he is the father of a baby girl and otherwise finds popularity and solace when writing. When the war is over, he returns home and re-enlists despite his father's disapproval, taking an assignment at a Coast Guard station in New York City. However he finds that racism is alive and well in his day to day life and his struggle to become a professional writer eventually alienates his wife.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The life of the young Alex Haley...

    8.0
    In this unique episode, we have now reached into the core of the biographical story of the author himself, following his somewhat un-focused life as a restless wanna-be writer. He comes across, at least in relative terms, as a child of privilege who eschews the goal of maintaining his family's status. And out of this, he sadly represents many from the Black middle class who have difficulty sustaining that early drive to continue through with a higher education, although in all seriousness, not everyone is "college material" as they say. And so somewhat true-to-life, the showdown between father and son commences, and the answer results in what is often the case in real life - a job in the military. And so with the historic backdrop of WW II, we follow Alex as he charms his Coast Guard shipmates with his flowery letters ghost-written by him for their girlfriends and wives. How true this was in real life for the author is somewhat suspect, but given that this is "entertainment" and not a literal autobiographical documentary, license is usually always a given.



    The one thing that does stand out was the often difficult relationship between Alex and his wife, with his selfishness full underscored. But from a historical standpoint, what wasn't focused on that perhaps should have been, was the same type of mistreatment of African American soldiers and sailors during WW II with its continued segregated units as was shown earlier in the installment for WW I. Instead, the focus was shifted towards the subtle and not-so-subtle "northern racism" that this generation faced when it came to accommodations after WW II was over.



    This installment was somewhat more uneven than the earlier installments, perhaps because it was hitting closer to home to the author. But it does set the story up for the finale to come.moreless
Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith

Commander Robert Munroe

Beah Richards

Beah Richards

Cynthia Palmer

Damon Evans

Damon Evans

Alex Haley (age 17 - 25)

Debbie Allen

Debbie Allen

Nan Branch Haley

Diahann Carroll

Diahann Carroll

Zeona Haley

Dorian Harewood

Dorian Harewood

Simon Haley

Mary Betten

Mary Betten

Proprietress

Guest Star

Ted Gehring

Ted Gehring

Road Boss

Guest Star

Albert Hall

Albert Hall

Vernon

Guest Star

Debbi Morgan

Debbi Morgan

Elizabeth Harvey

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Scotty: (speaking to Alex Haley in the ship's galley) Yeah... (chuckles) Where they find these boys? Looks like they done fish down to the bottom of the barrel, now they scrapin' the underside. Humph. Well I'll put it as plain as I can so you can understand. Now, there's God almighty, up in the sky. There's the Captain, up on the bridge. But down here, there is me. I'm the boss. The steward-in-charge. (barks in military fashion) Steward! First Class! Purceval T. Scott! You got that through your thick head boo?

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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