Posted on February 19, 2020

African American Man Kidnaps White Woman and Forces Her to Watch Nine-hour Slavery Mini-Series Roots to ‘Understand Her Racism’

Ryan Fahey, Daily Mail, February 18, 2020

An African American man kidnapped a white woman he’d been in an on-off relationship with for years and forced her to watch nine-hour slavery miniseries Roots so she could ‘understand her racism’.

Cedar Rapids police seized 52-year-old Robert Noyes on Monday on charges of first-degree harassment and false imprisonment.

The woman, who was not clearly described in previous reports as being white, was allegedly forced to sit with Noye and threatened when she tried to move from watching the 1977 TV miniseries.

He forced her to watch the nine-hour show, which details the ancestral line of the author Alex Haley, ‘so she could better understand her racism’, a police complaint said.

Noye threatened to ‘kill her and spread her body parts across Interstate 380 on the way to Chicago’, when she tried to move away, according to the Gazette.

Roots, which was penned in 1976 by US author Alex Haley and was first aired on TV in 1977, follows the struggles of one African American family told over several generations, starting with Kunte Kinte, an African warrior sold into slavery, through to his great-grandchildren fighting for their freedom during the Civil War.

Kinte is a 15-year-old warrior in Gambia in the late 1700s. The series begins as he sets off to undertake a semi-secretive rite of passage, which includes circumcision, war games and hunting.

After he’s tasked with catching a bird without hurting it, he crosses paths with a group of slavers and their captives.

He returns to the village at the end of the ceremony but is then captured by the slave hunters and a group of four black collaborators, made up of his family’s arch-enemies, the Koros tribe.

The youngster is then sold and placed on a ship bound for America

The series follows his perilous journey on a stinking, overcrowded slaveship to Annapolis, Maryland, where he was sold to a Virginia plantation owner for the price of ten mules.

Kinte’s name is stricken in favour of a new Christian identity, Toby. Kinte seeks to retain his African and Islamic heritage during his time in the new world, refusing to eat pork.

He tries to escape by using a tool he found on the plantation. His punishment is to be whipped by a fellow slave until he recognizes his new Christian name.

The controversial show goes on to follow an adult Kinte and the lives of his descendants, who eventually gain their freedom and settle 40 miles from Memphis in Henning, Tennessee.

Later scenes from the miniseries include the rape of Kinte’s descendants by masters with a sexual appetite for female slaves.

During the Civil War period, the show documents the treatment of slaves by local members of the Klu Klux Klan.

The show is graphic for its time for showing the beatings, mutilations and rape.

One particularly brutal scene shows two slave catchers prevent an adult Kinte from escaping and lop off his right foot with a hatchet.

It remains the third most-watched US telecast of all time after the final episode saw around 100 million viewers tune in.

The book and subsequent miniseries were seminal in opening the discussion about the legacy of slavery and race in America.

A remake of the popular 1970s miniseries was released on the History Channel in 2016, starring Malachi Kirby as Kunte Kinte.