O’Shea Jackson Jr. Speaks on ‘Roots’

It’s a history that spawns tense emotions and a reality that many today would like artistic creators to move away from.

And the Roots reboot has sparked this conversation once again.

Some praise the series and other films that reveal how our ancestors were treated during slavery. Many feel the shows keep the history alive to pass on to new generations. Others are over the story line and want to end displays of the pain of “our people.” Both sides were expressed in a recent #JETChat, where genealogist Kenyatta D. Berry and EBONY Senior Editor, Jamilah Lemieux discussed the depiction of slavery and Black lives in Hollywood.

Snoop Dogg went so far as to pose a boycott against the Roots series, while challenging content creators to make content representative of the good that’s happening within the Black community. Though his point was felt by some, criticism of his stance was laced with traces of his personal history and treatment of women in public and in his music.


Adding to the discussion is Straight Outta Compton actor, O’Shea Jackson Jr. When asked about his view on the rebooted series, he replied:

“All respect to all film makers, but we do have stories of triumph and we don’t necessarily have to keep getting beat up in order to triumph and end up a butler or something in the end of the series or movie.”

His statement hit the Interwebs and he soon followed up with further insight on social media into his view.

In a bigger scope, there is room and a need for the Black experience to be shown in all of its glory and despair. Lessons are to be taught and learned from both perspectives. As for shows like Underground and Roots, think beyond your knowledge and consider the emerging generations whom, unless these productions are made, would be ignorant to the history.

So, let’s open this dialogue a bit more and discuss the possibility of creating story lines that highlight Black culture in an uplifting light. With given quality and talent, would you be down to support?

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