The word you refer too was not always derogatory and came (as you probably know) from the french and spanish forms for the word black. Negre and Negro.Originally Posted by nilesgirl;3277952;
The word was used frequently during the time period that Roots was about and I felt that Roots used it incorrectly as at that time it wasn't considered a bad word. The negative connotations to it came later. (for the record, I too hate that word, but when you look at the historical aspect of it-and no, not all history is good, but still must be studied-it has context. If used correctly)
When Roots first came out, I was in high school and the mini-series caused some racial tensions in my high school and some bomb threats and school was actually cancelled for 2 days because of the tensions and threats. At that time, our school system had only been integrated for 7 years. Not long at all and not nearly long enough to erase the tensions from both segregation and integration.
We have been and will be discussing Roots in one of my classes this year as it's considered to be one of the "4 media events" that "defined" the South according to my professor.
And the scene you refer too I always felt that he did sleep with her. While he didn't condone fornication, the prayer suggests that he slept with her and used prayer to absolve himself before the fact.
BTW, the book is pretty powerful too. Some of the images in the show certainly were powerful and produced a lot of emotion, but the book has a lot more detail and clarity and is excellant.
ETA: The class we are discussing it in, is divided about evenly with tradtionally aged college students and students over 40. What I thought was funny was that the younger students only know Levar Burton from Reading Rainbow on PBS. The Professor suggested they rent the miniseries.