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Series / Roots (2016)

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Roots (2016) is a Mini Series based on Alex Haley's novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family and The Remake of the 1977 original miniseries. Much like the original, the remake tells the story of multiple generations of African-American slaves from before The American Revolution to the end of the Civil War. In order:

  1. Kunta Kinte (Malachi Kirby), a Mandinka Muslim warrior who was enslaved and brought to America;
  2. Kizzy (Sanayya Sidney, Emyri Crutchfield), Kunta's daughter who inherited her father's traditions, who is passed from the farm of Dr. Waller (Matthew Goode) to that of Tom Lea (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) during the American Revolution.
  3. "Chicken" George (Jaylin Ogle, Regé-Jean Page), Kizzy's son by Tom, whose skill at breeding chickens earns Tom much money and George the position of trusted slave.
  4. Tom (Sedale Threatt Jr), George's son, who resents his father for abandoning them just as the The American Civil War looms.

While the series largely draws from Haley’s novel, the remake focuses on a contemporary perspective and incorporates new facts regarding Kunta Kinte’s life that were discovered since the premiere of the original miniseries.

The 8-hour, four episode miniseries began airing on May 30, 2016 on The History Channel and ended on June 2, 2016.

This miniseries provides examples of:

  • 2 + Torture = 5: During the first episode, Kunta Kinte is tortured into acknowledging his slave name, "Toby".
  • Agony of the Feet: Much like the original miniseries and the novel, Kunta Kinte loses half of his right foot when bounty hunters capture him during the American Revolution. Unlike the original miniseries, being on cable lets the remake show this in graphic detail, so as not to shy away from the brutality of it.
  • Anachronism Stew: Though a very minor example, the marching song George and Cyrus listen to en route to the Fort Pillow is very clearly "Marching Through Georgia." The problem is that this wouldn’t happen for another 7 months, and the song not written for almost another year.
  • An Arm and a Leg: After the Battle at Ft. Pillow, Cyrus' arm has to be amputated due to a gunshot wound. And without an ounce of anesthesia.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Tom Lea eventually becomes this to Chicken George, for being abusive and even getting him set to England for losing a bet.
  • Arc Words: In Episode 1 and 2, “Allahu Akbar. Behold, (name). The only thing greater than you!” serves this when Kunta (and later his daughter) was born. This later becomes simply "(Name), behold! The only thing greater than you!”
  • Artistic License – History:
    • It's very unlikely Chicken George would have been taken to England in 1831, as it had been ruled that any slave there was free. A mixed race man would have been very noticeable at the time, and his status quickly discovered by the abolitionist movement (the British Parliament abolished slavery entirely soon after this, in 1833).
    • When Kunta Kinte is tied to a pole and lashed on the back for refusing to accept his name as Toby, the same white man who orders him to say his name is whipping him. Though in both actual history and in the 1977 original miniseries, another black slave would be whipping Kunta, not the white master himself due to how strenuous whipping is for the arm's muscles.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Kunta Kinte chokes Connelly to death with the latter's own gun. Considering Connelly was responsible for torturing Kunta at the end of Episode 1, however, it's especially hard to feel any sympathy for the overseer.
    • Frederick Murray, a Confederate soldier whose father owned many of Kunta Kinte's descendants. He's so repulsive in every way that you just can't help but cheer when Chicken George puts a bullet in him.
  • Auction of Evil: Kunta arrives at the Waller plantation after John Waller buys him in a slave auction.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Tom and Patricia Lea's marriage is incredibly cold. He emotionally abuses her for being infertile and rapes Kizzy within hearing distance of her. She eventually leaves him when his gambling habit grows out of control.
  • Badass Preacher: Subverted. Benjamin Lyon looks tough, but when militiamen start attacking slaves he comes close to having a nervous breakdown and laments how useless he really is.
  • Batman Gambit: Mr. Jewett wanted to buy Chicken George but Tom Lea wouldn't sell him, so he came up with a couple of schemes to get what he wanted:
    • First, he invited Lea to sit with him at Easter brunch knowing that the other aristocrats would provoke him into a duel. He hoped that Lea would get himself killed, but Lea ended up surviving.
    • Second, he lured Lea into a cockfight with his English cousin, a fight he knew George would win. Then he had his cousin propose a bet that his rival couldn't afford and Lea took the bait. Then Jewett pulled out the big guns, and when George lost Lea had to sell him.
  • Berserk Button: Tom Lea hates being looked down on for being Irish.
  • The Blacksmith: Young Tom, the son of Chicken George.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: While the original series was groundbreaking for its harrowing depiction of slavery, The Remake takes it up to eleven given the fact that the series is on cable rather than on over-the-air television. Kunta Kinte being tortured into saying his slave name at the end of remake's first episode, in particular, is a longer and far more brutal scene than in the original.
  • Bookends: The story begins in Juffure, Gambia circa 1750 with the birth of Kunta Kinte, and ends with his great-great-great-grandson Alex Haley returning to his ancestral village in 1976.
  • Boyfriend-Blocking Dad: Kunta Kinte becomes very upset when Noah starts courting his daughter, Kizzy. Deconstructed though, because Kizzy takes this as a sign that her father doesn't respect her enough to let her decide who she's with.
  • Broken Pedestal: Happens to Chicken George in regards to his master after his master pulls a gun on him in paranoia and callously lets Mingo die. And even more so when he goes back on a promise to set George free.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: George gives one to his father, Tom Lea, after being betrayed and sold by him 20 years earlier. He receives one from from his own son, also named Tom, for his 20-year absence shortly afterwards.
  • Cannon Fodder: Slaves who join the British Army to be freed become this during the American Revolution. Armed with only spears against the comparatively well-armed Continental Army, slaves who fight with the British are essentially being sent to be the first ones to die in battle. Needless to say, Kunta and Carlton decide to escape when things go as well as the viewer expects.
  • The Charmer: Chicken George attracts crowds with his Large Ham speeches and magnetic personality. This comes in handy more than once.
  • Child by Rape: Chicken George was born as the result of Tom Lea raping Kizzy once the latter arrived in Lea’s farm.
  • Childhood Friend: Missy serves as this for Kizzy throughout most of Episode 2. Sadly, Missy turns out to be a False Friend at the episode's end.
  • Cradle To Grave Character: After Kunta accepts the grim reality he'll live the rest of his life as a slave, he marries a slave woman named Belle, and they have a daughter named Kizzy. After Kizzy learns to read and write, she forges some "freedom papers" for another slave, which results in his death when fugitive slave hunters try to recapture him. Enraged at this development, her master sells her to another plantation as Kunta and Belle cry out for her. On the night of her arrival, she's raped by her new master, which results in the birth of her son "Chicken" George Lea. They stay together for several decades in the same plantation, even when a freedman tried to court her, and even after George got married and started a family of his own. Kizzy and George part ways when his master/father loses him on a high stakes cock fight, and George is taken against his will to England. When his English master frees him twenty years later, George goes back to the Lea plantation, where he discovers that Kizzy, his mother, died years before, and after paying his respects to her grave, he goes to confront his former master.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Tom Lea is pissed when Kizzy falls in love with Marcellus, even knowing that she always hated him.
  • Daddy Issues: Tom, George's son, is not pleased when his father returns home because he's angry at George for not being around (though he didn't really have a say in that). Eventually the two men work out their differences.
  • Daddy's Girl: Kizzy adores her father and takes all his teachings to heart. Even as an adult, she draws strength from his memory.
  • Death by Childbirth: Noah's mother dies not long after giving birth to her and Dr. William Waller's son.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance:
    • Averted regarding Dr. Waller's affair with his sister-in-law. It would certainly raise some eyebrows today, but the series leaves out the fact that in the late 1700s and early 1800s, one's in-laws were considered the same as blood relatives; meaning that by the standards of his time, Dr. Waller is actually committing Brother–Sister Incest.
    • Cockfighting is a considered a gentlemanly sport and some sympathetic characters are involved in it, namely Chicken George (in fact that's where he gets his nickname), Mingo, and Marcellus. Nowadays they'd all be in prison for animal cruelty.
  • Disappeared Dad: Chicken George, though not by choice. He was sold to an Englishman and had to work for over twenty years to get his freedom so he could go home to his family. His children and grandchildren welcome him back with open arms; apart from Tom, though he eventually warms up to Chicken George too.
  • Distant Finale: The story proper ends in 1865. Afterwards, there is a short epilogue that takes place over 100 years into the future, in 1976, which shows Alex Haley chronicling the saga of his family.
  • The Dog Bites Back: A major point in the remake is that, as the producers stated, they didn't want to show Kunta and his family as just passively suffering through slavery, but that Kunta retained his pride and never gave up fighting back against his enslavers: the odds are against him and he cannot fight every white man in Virginia, but the remake makes it a point to show Kunta and other slaves managing to actually kill at least a few overseers - keeping people enslaved who don't want to be is a constant, dangerous business. Unlike in the original, Kunta later directly gets revenge on the brutal overseer who whipped his back to shreds: choking him with his own gun, leaning into his face and shouting "My name is Kunta Kinte!" while watching the life drain out of the overseer's eyes.
  • Duel to the Death: After an aristocrat insults him, Tom Lea attacks him and is challenged to a duel. He asks Chicken George to be his second. In the end, both combatants are badly wounded, but the other man yields and they both live. According to Marcellus, Lea's rival Mr. Jewett arranged this hoping for Lea's death because he wouldn't sell him Chicken George.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Tom Lea’s first appearance in the last few minutes of Episode 2 is all that is needed to cement him as terrifying and amoral psychopath.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Mr. Murray might be a plantation owner who bought Chicken George’s wife and children, but he asks his racist son Frederick to let Chicken George (who is by now a free man) reunite with his wife and children upon his arrival. He also opposes secession from the Union prior to the Civil War, and he is later seen desperately pleading Frederick to change his mind when he decides to kill Nancy for being a Union mole.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Fiddler, the... fiddler. His real name is Henry, something he only shares with Kunta Kinte.
  • False Friend: Missy is seemingly established as Kizzy’s closest friend from childhood, protecting the latter from racist relatives and teaching her how to read. And then, when Noah was revealed to be carrying papers forged by Kizzy, she doesn’t bother protecting Kizzy from being sold to another slave owner. Ouch.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Like the novel, Kunta Kinte and Fiddler become this by the end of Episode 1. In Episode 4, Cyrus becomes close friends with Chicken George after they failed to get on a stagecoach out of North Carolina.
  • Generational Saga: Naturally, as it aims to tell "The Saga of an American Family", the story follows 7 generations, starting with Omoro Kinte, then his son Kunta Kinte, then his daughter Kizzy, then her son Chicken George along with his son Tom. Tom and his wife have an unnamed daughter, and a member of the next generation, Alex Haley, appears in the Distant Finale.
  • Happily Married: Kunta and Belle, later George and Matilda, and even later their son Tom and Irene. Frederick and Nancy seem to be this, except Nancy is an abolitionist spying for the Union. Once Frederick finds out, he brutally kills her not long after she grants Jerusalem a Mercy Kill.
  • Hate Sink: Tom Lea is crude, ruthless, and petty. He emotionally abuses his wife and rapes Kizzy, later growing irrationally possessive of her when she tries to find happiness with Marcellus. He ends up squandering the few Pet the Dog moments he has with his son Chicken George by holding him at gunpoint at the behest of his fellow whites and selling him off to an Englishman, keeping from his family for two decades. Not even the other slaveowners of the story have anything nice to say about him.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: The repeated usage of the word "cock" in Episode 3, which features cockfighting as an important plot point.
  • Heroic BSoD: After having half his foot cut off by fugitive slave hunters, Kunta comes to the sad realization that he will never see Juffre, or his family, ever again, and resigns himself to being a slave for the rest of his life, and becomes distant to everyone else, including Fiddler and Belle, who had been nursing his wound. Sometime later, he decides to make the best of the situation, and after thanking Belle for staying by his side and nursing him back to health, he decides to ask her to marry him and even starts a family with her.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Fiddler dies protecting Kunta Kinte and his newborn daughter from slave patrollers.
  • Hope Spot: George's master Tom Lea promises to set him free if he wins a $10,000 cock fight, which he does. However, Lea takes an additional bet, loses, and sells George to cover his debt.
  • I Die Free: Fiddler's death has shade of this, since he proudly declares his true name to the white men surrounding him as he makes his final stand.
  • Internalized Categorism: Understandably comes up often. A point the remake stresses is just how stratified society was in antebellum America: the rich white plantation owners are - generally - fairly civil to their slaves, treating them like horses at worst or sometimes even like pets. Slaves are a major investment of money, so the actual plantation owners don't physically harm them at mere whim. The ones who seem to vehemently hate African slaves are the poor whites, who serve as overseers and slave-catchers, and outright sadistically enjoy mistreating and torturing slaves. Many of these low-ranking overseers are poor Irish immigrants considered barely a step above slaves themselves, and thus have a pathological need to demonstrate that they are superior to the black slaves. The overseer who whips Kunta, Connelly, is outright livid that the slave Fiddler is considered presentable in high white society (as a skilled musician) in ways that Connelly will never be, or that Fiddler can speak to him with any hint of equal authority. Most revealing is the scene in which Fiddler openly disagrees with Connelly about how to punish Kunta, so Connelly outright tackles him to the ground, starts brawling with him, and in a Suspiciously Specific Denial, Connelly starts shouting "I am not a nigger! You think you're the same as me?! I'm better than you! I AM NOT A NIGGER!" In the second episode, when Kizzy plays dolls with the white girls, Kizzy directly points out that white men hold dominion over white women in a direct parallel to how whites dominate the black slaves. White women in the plantation-owning families often take joy in ordering around black men - as long as there's someone below them on the social ladder.
  • Irony: While being driven about town by his slave, Kunta Kinte, Dr. Waller celebrates the end of the Revolutionary War by proclaiming "Long live freedom, boys!"
  • Lack of Empathy: Unsurprisingly, the slave owners can barely fathom the idea that their slaves have feelings. Some notable cases:
    • After one of his slaves dies in childbirth, Dr. Waller's first thought is how much money he's lost with her death, not that her child will grow up an orphan.
    • Missy says she considered asking her mother to buy Kizzy so they'd always be together, as if she'd be doing Kizzy a favor. Either she never considered that Kizzy might not want to be separated from her parents, or Missy thought she was more important to Kizzy than her own mother and father.
    • Tom Lea is actually surprised that Chicken George stopped being friendly toward him despite the fact that Tom pulled a gun on him during the Turner Rebellion.
  • Leave No Survivors: Nathan Forrest doesn't take black prisoners; his soldiers have orders to kill every black Union soldier they can, even if they surrender. Chicken George and Cyrus barely make it out of the Battle of Ft. Pillow alive.
  • Love Hurts: Poor Kizzy. Noah, the boy she loved as a teenager, was killed for trying to escape. Many years later she falls in love with a free man named Marcellus, but she can't leave and marry him because she has to look after her family.
  • Made a Slave: Kunta Kinte is enslaved along with Jinna when African slavers gun down his horse during his attempt to warn Juffre.
  • Mama Bear: Kizzy outright threatens to kill her owner, to his face, if he so much as touches her grandchildren.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Dr. Waller has been having an affair with his sister-in-law, meaning his "niece" is very likely his daughter.
  • The Man Is Keeping Us Down: Much like the 1977 original, the remake does this due to slavery serving as the primary source for the story’s major conflicts.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Pretty much every white person in the South starts to panic when they get the news of Nat Turner's slave revolt.
  • The Mentor: Mingo taught George everything he knew about cockfighting. Interestingly, he didn't actually want to; their master ordered him to. He's actually is somewhat hostile to George for years. In the end though, Mingo does develop a soft spot for him.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard:
    • Fiddler was Kunta Kinte's guide in America, and eventually dies protecting him and his daughter from white patrollers.
    • Mingo, the one who taught George all about cockfighting, is savagely beaten by white militiamen who are angry about Nat Turner's revolt. Despite George's pleas to fetch a doctor, their master doesn't spare Mingo a second thought and he succumbs to his wounds.
  • Mercy Kill: Nancy shoots her fellow spy, Jerusalem, to spare him a long, tortuous hanging. For that, she too is hanged.
  • The Mole: Nancy and Jerusalem are spies for the Union. Nancy gets close to the Murray family so she can steal information about Confederate army. Eventually, they're both caught and executed.
  • Mood Whiplash: The joyous celebrations after the Civil War ends is quickly replaced by frustration when the freedmen have to become sharecroppers to subsist. While they're not technically slaves anymore, they're still working for their old masters, doing the exact same things. Only now many white people in the South are bitter about their loss and are targeting freedmen.
  • Nouveau Riche: Tom Lea is an Irishman who grew up dirt poor and is trying his damndest to become wealthy and respected. Do not look down on him for it.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. Chicken George's father and son are both named Tom. One of his granddaughters is named Kizzy, after his mother.
  • Patricide: Chicken George attempts to murder Tom Lea, his owner and biological father, for not sending a doctor to save his mentor, Mingo. His mother manages to talk him out of it.
  • Papa Wolf: Chicken George shoots Frederick Murray for trying to aim a gun at his son Tom.
  • Pretty Boy: Chicken George, and he's well aware of it.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: It would be easier to name antagonists who don’t racially abuse Kunta Kinte and his descendants than those who do. Among the bigger offenders of this, however, are Connelly, Spalding, Tom Lea, and Frederick Murray.
  • Prison Riot: Kunta Kinte leads one in Episode 1 in the middle of the journey to America. Tragically, the riot is futile and ultimately leads to the death of Uncle Silla.
  • Prison Ship: Kunta, his uncle, and dozens of other Africans are chained together and crammed into the cargo hold of a slave ship where they have to endure the middle passage, before sold of to plantation owners on the Maryland coast.
  • Rape as Drama:
    • Tom Lea horrifically rapes Kizzy at the end of Episode 2. This led to the birth of Chicken George, the primary protagonist of Episodes 3 and 4. And Tom Lea continued raping her for years afterwards.
    • Later Irene, Young Tom's wife, is raped by her master's son and Tom is forced to watch.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • George gives a scathing one to Tom Lea for going back on a promise to set him free, saying that he's just as worthless as the Southern aristocrats always said he was.
    • In a previous scene in the same episode, we see a Southern aristocrat berate Tom for his poor spending, excessive drinking habit, as well as his Irish heritage. What causes Tom to lash out at the aristocrat, is when he lets him know that he prefers blacks to him.
  • "Rediscovering Roots" Trip: The final arc focuses on Alex, a descendant of Kunta Kinte, tracking down his heritage and ultimately visiting Africa.
  • Rite of Passage: At the beginning of Episode 1, Kunta Kinte is whisked away from Juffre along with other adolescent boys to serve several rounds of this. After days of relentless training, they get circumcised before they're allowed to return.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Kunta Kinte and Carlton desert the battlefield once they realize the British are sending slaves to die against heavily-armed American rebels. This ultimately leads to Carlton being shot to death and Kunta Kinte losing half of his right foot.
  • Sex Slave: Kizzy is repeatedly raped by her master for many years, starting the very first night she was brought to his farm.
  • Shown Their Work: One of several major reasons for producing the remake, as Levar Burton explained, is that the intervening four decades' worth of historical scholarship have greatly refined understanding of these time periods (much of this scholarship outright inspired by the original miniseries). Among these refinements:
    • The original miniseries presented Juffre as a small village, which is what it was like when Alex Haley visited it in the 20th century. Subsequent research, however, has since proven that during the 18th century Juffre was a thriving large town and major port for commerce on the river. Many Europeans such as the Portuguese and the English themselves had trading missions in or around Juffre - as the opening voiceover narration explains, they were trading European guns to the Mandinka tribes in exchange for slaves, which fueled an increasingly aggressive demand for more slaves. Thus the Mandinka were familiar with firearms and used them regularly. Kunta Kinte himself was also probably quite well educated, and would have to have been able to speak three or four different languages from living in a major trade hub.
    • The original miniseries knew that the Mandinka were warriors, but subsequent research revealed that they were actually mounted warriors who regularly rode horses. Europeans even visited the Mandinka to learn horse-training techniques from the Africans. Thus in the remake, learning to ride a fiery stallion is a major step shown in warrior training, and the Mandinka are regularly shown riding horses. Even for the pivotal scene when Kunta is captured by slavers, in the remake he is fleeing riding his horse but it gets shot out from under him. This aspect of Mandinka culture continues to reverberate for Kunta and his family in America: Kunta makes his first escape attempt by stealing the plantation-owner's prize horse that few others can master. Later, he gets his new job as a coach rider again because he is skilled at dealing with horses. Kunta tries to impart as much of this aspect of Mandinka heritage to his daughter as he can, making Kizzy go through long hours of training so she can jump onto a horse at a moment's notice and ride it to freedom some day. Her training pays off and she does quickly steal and ride a horse, but like her father, even with a horse she doesn't get far.
    • The remake corrects an historical inaccuracy from the original, where African slaves were captured by Europeans. Here, it's acknowledged that the Mandinke already kept slaves as servants, and most slaves were captured by other Africans. Mandinke are shown capturing members of their own people to sell into slavery, although without permission by their king in at least some cases.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Although Frederick Murray is a morally reprehensible bastard, he and Nancy Holt seem to be this. Frederick drops the act when he reveals he knows that Nancy is a Union mole, and he later lynches her with sadistic glee shortly after executing her accomplice.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Like the original, this version does not shy away from showing the horrors the enslaved Africans and their children had to endure in a land where they were considered nothing more than sentient farm equipment at worst or pets in the best case scenario.
  • The Sociopath:
    • While there are loads of white characters who are not very nice, Tom Lea is a narcissistic and self-aggrandizing slave owner who lacks any redeeming qualities. His wife's disgust while silently observing him rape Kizzy speaks volumes to how others view him.
    • Frederick Murray is a proud and selfish boy who lacks any empathy for his men and slaves. Whether it's sending his accomplices to die as test subjects and bait or executing Nancy for being an abolitionist spy, Frederick will do anything to gain glory from a war between the North and the South.
  • "Take That!" Kiss: Chicken George gives one to Matilda when her preacher father shows up while he courts her.
  • Token Good Teammate:
    • For slave owners, Mr. and Mrs. Murray are pretty decent, especially in contrast to their Jerkass son Frederick. Mr. Murray even wishes George's family luck when they decide to leave the plantation after being freed.
    • The teenage cabin boy does not look like he's enjoying his time onboard the slave ship. One kind of feels bad when he's accidentally killed by the ship's captain during Kunta's failed slave revolt.
  • Token Minority: During the Revolutionary War, among the runaway slaves that join the British Army in exchange for their freedom, is a Native American who wants the colonists to stop encroaching on his land.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Chicken George is very fond of his master and seeks his approval. That is, until his master turns on him during the Nat Turner Rebellion.
  • We Used to Be Friends:
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The audience never learns the final fates of important characters such as Kunta Kinte and Belle. This applies even more in-universe, such as when three of George and Matilda's children were sold by their second master and never reunite with their family. This is justified and an example of Tropes Are Not Bad in this case because, during slavery, people were often separated from loved ones and never saw them again or got any closure.
  • Where da White Women At?: Carlton lost an eye because of his interest in a white woman.
  • Wicked Step Mother: Averted. Tom Lea's wife Patricia knows that George is his son, since she witnessed him raping Kizzy, but she's quite nice to George.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: It seems that whenever things begin to look up for Kunta Kinte and his descendants, tragedy is waiting around the corner:
    • In the first episode alone, the Prison Riot Kunta Kinte leads ends in the death of Uncle Silla and many other slaves. He later tries to escape Dr. Waller's plantation, only for him to be caught and brutally whipped by Connelly. It only gets worse for Kunta at the end of Episode 2, with an escape attempt from serving as British Cannon Fodder leading to his recapture and amputation, his ritual of naming his new baby girl ending in Fiddler getting killed by patrollers, and his attempt to raise a family with Belle ending in his daughter being sold to Tom Lea.
    • Chicken George wins a $10,000 cockfight and is promised by Tom Lea to be emancipated for his win. Unfortunately, Tom's greed leads him to bet $20,000 for another cockfight, one that George quickly loses. Consequently, Tom breaks his promise and willingly sells George to the victors to pay off his debt.