Before the Storms Hit…

Well, I’m supposed to be getting some thunderstorms tonight, and that may knock out my power, so I’ll get my blog written as quickly as I can.

I’m watching episode 4 of Roots right now, the one in which Mike Brady sells Kizzy to the sinister Rifleman. This is the second time that I’ve seen this particular episode, and I feel disappointed this time around, as I was the first time that I saw it.

Oh, it’s a masterpiece, so I’m not talking about its storyline or production. It’s just that here’s Kizzy, who’s about to be sold to Mike Brady’s “niece” (or, actually, his daughter, whom he had with the wife of his brother, Ben Cartwright). The niece/daughter is Sandy Duncan, her friend from childhood. And Kizzy is reluctant to go with her, because she wants to stay with her family. But Sandy Duncan tells her that Mike Brady and Kizzy’s dad, John Amos, will be able to visit her, since Mike Brady will naturally see his beloved niece. Sandy promises to protect Kizzy, as the two of them are friends.

Well, Kizzy forges a paper pass for her boyfriend, a slave who tries to run away. And so Mike Brady decides to enforce order on his plantation by selling her to the Rifleman, who has his lustful eye on her. And Sandy Duncan watches Kizzy get separated from her parents, while doing nothing to stop it.

What’s sad is this: Kizzy didn’t really like the choice between living with Sandy Duncan and staying with her parents. But, then, something happens that makes that choice a little more attractive: Kizzy’s sent to stay with someone who is not her friend, plus she’ll never see her parents again. Do you think she wishes she had her old choice back?

Of course, one could say that the whole situation is tragic, all of it–the choice that Sandy Duncan offered, the forcible removal of Kizzy from her family, her rape at the hands of the Rifleman. That’s what happens when one person owns another. Some choices appear better than others, but the whole system stinks, since the slave is totally at the mercy of a “master.”

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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