Headscratchers / Roots

  • I've heard people who have watched the series (notably, my eighth grade American History teacher) refer to Kunta as his slave name, Toby. What's the point of that? It might be easier for some to remember, but, come on!
    • Some people are slower to change than others. Numerous people still call Native Americans "Indians" rather than by their tribal names. Eventually those people change or they die off.
  • When Kunta Kinte saw the ocean from the deck of the slave ship, he said something like "I had no idea there could be this much water." From his earlier comments, it is shown that he had no concept of a body of water larger than a river. Here's the problem. He was captured by the crew of the slave ship, which was docked within walking distance of his village. Given that, it is barely believable that he never saw the ocean himself, and utterly unbelievable that he never heard about the ocean from somebody else.
    • Well, they didn't say how long the walk was, did they? Maybe it was like in The Book of Negroes and they walked for upwards of a month.
  • Something that has always bugged me (and what may just be a case of the unreliable narrator) is how everyone (every single person) in Alex Haley's family tree is a fine, upstanding citizen with their worst qualities being that they are stubborn and hard-headed. None of them are liars, criminals, lazy, or even get a divorce. Otherwise, they're the finest human beings ever. Meanwhile, the white people, except for a few limited examples, are all evil, corrupt, liars, and thieves.
    • Well it is a Slave Narrative so you know the villains will be. But Chicken George is quite fleshed out with his tomcatting , and Haley's dad himself had two wives