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In order to honor the show’s 35th anniversary, Oprah will interview Cicely Tyson, Leslie Uggams, LeVar Burton, John Amos, Louis Gossett, Jr., and Ben Vereen (all pictured above from left to right) at her Montecito, Calif., estate.
Original clips from the miniseries will also be aired, and the actors will share personal anecdotes on what it was like to work on such a historical undertaking. Since the airing of “Roots,” no TV program has approached the problem of slavery and its aftermath as honestly as Haley’s work. “Roots: 35 Years Later” will premiere on Monday, January 16, at 8 p.m., EST on Winfrey’s OWN network.
“Roots,” which was watched by more than 100-million viewers, was considered to be a monumental television phenomena, because it was the first time that audiences from all colors and creeds witnessed the unsanitized version of slavery. Viewers were exposed to the dehumanizing experiences of Blacks who were stolen from the Motherland and forcefully brought to a country that treated them as less than human. Haley’s 12-hour miniseries depicted a people, whom despite the physically brutal acts of abuse and psychological degradation, were able to maintain some semblance of dignity and self-esteem.