The BEST episodes of Roots

Every episode of Roots ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Roots!

A historical portrait of American slavery, recounting the journey of one family and their will to survive and ultimately carry on their legacy despite hardship.

Last Updated: 5/22/2024Network: ABC (US)Status: Ended
Part VI
112 votes

#1 - Part VI

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired 1/28/1977

Chicken George is sent to England as payment for his owner's gambling debt.

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109 votes

#2 - Part VIII

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired 1/30/1977

The Civil War is over but night riders terrorize ex-slaves. By marking his clients' horseshoes, Tom identifies the raiders but endangers his own life. Chicken George, who fought for the Union, rejoins his family. He leads them to a new home in Tennessee.

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Part II
224 votes

#3 - Part II

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 1/24/1977

Despite a violent rebellion, the slave ship Lord Ligonier completes its voyage and Kunta Kinte endures the indiginity of an Annapolis slave auction. Fiddler, the slave in charge of Kunta's training, becomes his only friend, a friendship that's tested when Kunta plans his escape.

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Part VII
86 votes

#4 - Part VII

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired 1/29/1977

Chicken George returns to North Carolina to find his sons have married and started families - and to learn about a state law that says his status as a free man is forfeited if he stays more than 60 days. Meanwhile, the nation erupts in Civil War.

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Part V
177 votes

#5 - Part V

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired 1/28/1977

The teenage Kizzy, well-versed in Mandinka history, falls in love with young Noah, who's determined to escape.

Directors: Gilbert Moses
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Part I
285 votes

#6 - Part I

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 1/23/1977

In Gambia, West Africa, Kunta Kinte, son of Omoro and Binta, distinguishes himself in manhood training rituals. But he does not enjoy his new status long: slave traders sweeping the countryside seize him. Chained with other captives, Kunta begins an agonized odyssey to the New World.

Directors: David Greene
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Part III
176 votes

#7 - Part III

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 1/25/1977

In 1776, a nation fights for freedom - but not for all. Still driven by his memories as a Mandinka "fighting man," Kunta (now renamed Toby) escapes once more.

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Part IV
196 votes

#8 - Part IV

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 1/27/1977

After Genelva's nighttime dalliance with Junta deflects suspicion so she can flee with her lover, Kunta forms a romantic attachment to the worldly-wise Bell, whom he marries.

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