(SOUNDBITE OF THEME SONG, "ROOTS")
MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
And finally today, we want to talk about one more cultural touchstone. In 1977, millions of Americans were introduced to the brutality of the transatlantic slave trade, not in classrooms but on television through the mini-series "Roots." The series broke television ratings records when it first aired back in 1977. Based on the book "Roots: The Saga Of An American Family," it's the story of tens of millions of Americans told through the memories and research of one - author Alex Haley. It tells the journey of his ancestor, Kunta Kinte, from West Africa to the U.S. And then Haley, played by James Earl Jones, traces his roots back to Kunta Kinte's home village in Gambia.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "ROOTS")
JAMES EARL JONES: (As Alex Haley) I found you, Kunta Kinte. I found you. I found you. I found you.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Village Elder, through interpreter) Praise be to Allah, for one long lost to us whom Allah has returned. Welcome, son of Kinte.
MARTIN: Now the History Channel has produced a remake of "Roots," which begins airing tomorrow night. If you are tuning in, we would like to hear your thoughts. Use your phone's voice memo app to record your thoughts on the remake. Please email the audio to us at firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line Roots. We hope to air a selection of the submissions on next week's program. And that's our program for today. We'll see you next week.
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