Roots begins with Kunta Kinte, emerging from childhood and undergoing warrior training in his tribal homeland. The slavers arrive soon enough, and after a harrowing three-month ride back across the Atlantic, Kunta is sold, becomes Toby under his new master, attempts repeated escapes, and eventually accepts his fate as he settles down with a wife and child. The Revolutionary War comes and goes, and Toby's daughter Kizzy is sold, becoming the mother of her new master's son, known as Chicken George. Chicken George in turn is sent to England to pay off a gambling debt. When he returns home after 14 years, he is a free man. The Civil War arrives, and the rest of the slaves are freed. Soon enough the family faces the perils of vehement racism and the KKK, and Chicken George finally leads his family to safety in a new settlement.
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The year is 1991. The world is a police state where everyone wears black turtlenecks and black leather jackets. The police carry big sticks and wear black patent jackboots. In 1984, all dogs and cats were wiped out due to a mysterious plague brought down during a routine space mission. Apes have since replaced those furry domestic animals, first as pets and then as slaves to the upper society classes.
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The former President quoted Nelson Mandela in the wake of the violence.