played by Babs Olusanmokun

Intelligent, authoritative and respected, Omoro is Kunta Kinte's father, descended of a long line of proud warriors in his village. He's a wise and loving but strict father, who's very proud of his firstborn son.


played by Nokuthula Ledwaba

Smart and spirited, Binta is Omoro's wife, who's very pleased to present her husband with a boy, Kunta, as their firstborn. Binta bears several more children and is a good mother, instilling respect for authority (hers) into her children. However, when Kunta becomes a warrior, she knows she must follow tradition and be submissive and formal with him.

Kunta Kinte

played by Malachi Kirby

Kunta Kinte, "the African," member of the highly respected Kinte clan of the Mandinka people of Gambia. A warrior who is educated, clever, skilled, strong, resilient and proud, he is young man of immense courage and spiritual fortitude — all traits that empower him when he is captured by slavers. Kunta never relinquishes his dream of returning to his homeland and never stops challenging the slaves born in America to fight for their freedom.

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played by Emayatzy Corinealdi

The American born wife of Kunta Kinte and longtime favorite cook and housekeeper for Dr. William Waller. She gives Kunta Kinte a reason to live and stop running. She is the mother to Kunta's only child — a daughter named Kizzy, but lives with her own terrible secret, her two baby sons who were sold away from her when she was young before she was married to Kunta Kinte.

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played by Anika Noni Rose

The cherished and smart only child of Kunta Kinte and Belle who maintains her family pride and warrior spirit. She is trained to be a warrior by her father, remembering every story about Africa that her father ever told her. She is taught to read by her slave master's daughter, Missy. After being raped by her slave master, Tom Lea, she gives birth to her only son, George, the only grandchild of Kunta Kinte. She perpetuates the dreams and teachings of her father in the rearing of her son.

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Tom Lea

played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers

A poor farmer of Irish descent from the impoverished Carolina hill country. Craven, aspiring, though at times great fun, always suspicious and can't rise above a deep rooted jealousy of his betters. He buys Kizzy as a 15 year old and rapes her resulting in the birth of their son George whom he takes under his wing and teaches him about Cock fighting. He has a deep struggle that torments him in owning a slave that is in fact his son.

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Chicken George

played by Regé-Jean Page

Kizzy's clever, theatrical and resourceful son. A handsome social magnet who knows how to transfix a crowd with a story, yet doesn't appreciate what he has until his luck abandons him. He struggles with following his family traditions until he is abandoned by his true father, slave owner, Tom Lea.

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played by Erica Tazel

A preacher's daughter, literate, modest and religious. She is swept away by the charm and attention of Chicken George and is the only woman that could tame him and soon thereafter becomes his wife and the mother to his eight children.

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played by Sedale Threatt Jr.

The youngest son of George and Matilda. Tom reacts to his father's spendthrift, wastrel and philandering ways by simply hiding his emotions. A quiet, handsome young man, Tom believes surviving slavery will only come through hard work as a blacksmith. The stories of his great grandfather, Kunta Kinte, resonate for him as parables of hard work and perseverance. He is provoked when he realizes that he cannot protect his wife and family by keeping his head down, and is inner warrior comes out during the Civil War.

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Alex Haley

played by Laurence Fishburne

The author of the novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family.

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