Cast of “Roots” came back stage after their tribute moment on stage. The group of them — John Amos, LeVar Burton, Louis Gossett, Jr., Cicely Tyson, Leslie Uggams and Ben Vereen — genuinely looked they they were enjoying their reunion and they might have potential as a comedy troupe. Burton and Tyson got into a funny little dispute about whether “Roots” was in fact the first miniseries. And when Vereen lingered at the mike a little too long, Burton stepped behind him making motions of trying to pull him off stage. Of course there were queries about what “Roots” meant to this country, then and now. Gossett noted that there’s a frightening lack of understanding of history among many young people in this country today.
“Some people in Atlanta don’t even know about Martin Luther King Jr.,” Gossett said. Burton concurred but also looked a bit into the near future.
“I think there’s a direct connection between slavery and reconstruction of the south civil rights to ‘Roots’ in the ’70s,” Burton observed. “In 1977 it would have been unfathomable to think we might have a black president in the United States. Now that is really a possiblity…Progress is two steps forward. Tempest fugit. Time always moves.”
Meanwhile, in a quick “what’er you doing now,” interesting tidbits came from Gossett — who said he’s heading back to Broadway to do “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” with Phylicia Rashad, with Debbie Allen directing — and Vereen, who said he’s just wrapped a seg of “Grey’s Anatomy.”