Kunta Kinte's Manacles
Actor LeVar Burton wore these prop manacles in the miniseries Roots (ABC, 1977), a dramatic portrayal of slavery as experienced by several generations of one family. Based on Alex Haley's autobiographical novel, Roots began with Kunta Kinte, an African youth brought to America as a slave in the 1700s, and ended with the emancipation of his descendants during the Civil War. Watched by more than 100 million people, it was a significant departure from programs that had traditionally relegated blacks to minor, stereotyped roles.