Kunta Kinte Meaning & The HISTORY® Channel’s 2016 Remake of Roots

What does Kunta Kinte mean?: Malachi Kirby in 2016 Roots History Channel

Did you find this post after Googling ‘Kunta Kinte meaning’? If so, you are in the right place. Let’s get right to it.

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Kunta Kinte Meaning: What Does Kunta Kinte Mean?/Kunta Kinte Signification/What Does Kunta Kente Mean?

Kunta Kinte is a fictional African slave taken to 18th-century America in the novel and adapted TV series Roots.

Kunta Kinte Meaning in Slang

Based on the character and his experience, Kunta Kinte is also used as a derogatory name for an African person who has recently immigrated to a new place.

Kunta Kinte is also a meme used to variously comment on African-American culture.

READ ALSO: Roots Showing in Africa

Meaning of Kunta Kinte/Kunta Meaning: What is Kunta Kinte Mean in African?

Kunta Kinte is a Mandinka/Malinke name from The Gambia.

I am not sure what it means in that language, but I will do my research for you, and when I find out, you’ll be able to find that here. Check back again soon.

READ ALSO: Roots 1977 Trailer & More

Does the name Kunta Kinte mean anything to you? How about this scene: “Your name is Toby. I want to hear you say it!….What’s your name? Kunta…Kunta Kinte.”, as a whip comes down hard on a young black man’s back?

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If you are around my age or older, you’ll probably easily recall this poignant scene from the 1977 Roots miniseries (no, I was not yet born in 1977 but I grew up in Africa so we got American movies and TV shows 10 years late).

As one of my favorite bloggers reminded me recently in a post about Beyoncé’s album Lemonade, there’s a whole generation of young adults for whom this reference will mean nothing.

For those of us who have vivid memories of Roots, as well as for those of you who are too young to remember, I think we are all in for a treat this June as Roots comes back to television in a new Roots History channel remake.

Read on to find out more, but first take a look at the scene I was talking about.


(To be honest, the dialogue I recall for this scene is…

– Je m’appelle Kunta Kinte.
– Tobey! Tu t’appelles Tobey !
– Non ! Kunta…Kinte !
– Tu t’appelles Tobey !
– Kunta…Kinte.
– Fouettez-le!

….because I grew up in Abidjan where television is in French, so the dialogue and accents in this video sound so strange to me. 😆 Anyways, back to my main point…)

Roots History Channel (Remake of Roots): What Channel Is Roots On?

Making its debut on the HISTORY® Channel (DStv 186 if you are watching from Africa) is the highly-anticipated television event Roots, the four-part, eight-hour series developed by the HISTORY® channel and produced by A+E Studios.

Based on the best-selling novel by Alex Haley, Roots recounts the journey of one family’s will to survive, endure, and ultimately carry on their legacy despite enormous hardship and inhumanity.

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“Nearly 40 years ago I had the privilege to be a part of an epic television event that started an important conversation in America,” said LeVar Burton, co-executive producer and the actor who played the lead role of Kunta Kinte in the original 1977 Roots miniseries. “I am incredibly proud to be a part of this new retelling and start the dialogue again, at a time when it is needed more than ever.”

Spanning multiple generations, the lineage begins with young Kunta Kinte, who is captured in his homeland of The Gambia and sold into slavery.

Throughout the series, the family continues to face adversity that reveals powerful truths about the universal resilience of the human spirit.

Stars in the History Channel Roots: Who Plays Kunta Kintes Växtdelar?

Starring in the 2016 Roots miniseries are Academy Award® winners Forest Whitaker (“Fiddler”) and Anna Paquin (“Nancy Holt”); Academy Award® nominee and Emmy Award® winner Laurence Fishburne (“Alex Haley”); Golden Globe Award® winning and Emmy Award® nominated actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers (“Tom Lea”); Tony Award® winner Anika Noni Rose (“Kizzy”); Grammy Award® winner Tip “T.I.” Harris (“Cyrus”); Emayatzy Corinealdi (“Belle”); Matthew Goode (“Dr. William Waller”); Mekhi Phifer (“Jerusalem”); James Purefoy (“John Waller”) and introduces Regé-Jean Page (“Chicken George”) and Malachi Kirby (“Kunta Kinte”), originally played by LeVar Burton who is co-executive producer of the new Roots miniseries.

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