The History Channel's reimagination of Alex Haley's "Roots" will tell the stories of all its most memorable characters, but viewers can also expect powerful black women to grace the screen, as well.
Actor Malachi Kirby, who stars as Kunta Kinte in the eight-hour miniseries, sat down with The Huffington Post on Tuesday and explained that the program "definitely" highlights important female characters. One narrative arc in the series centers around Tony award-winner Anika Noni Rose's character Kizzy, who Kirby said rises to the occasion when her father, Kunta Kinte, teaches her how to become a fighter.
"Kunta Kinte spends his whole life expecting a boy child because he's going to raise a Mandinka warrior and he has a daughter. Not just a daughter, but a daughter amidst slavery and these times," Kirby told HuffPost host Jacques Morel. "He needs to teach her how to survive, so he teaches her how to be a Mandinka warrior. He teaches her the Mandinka ways. It's the only option he has. He doesn't have a son. So she grows up to be pretty badass."
Kirby also said he revered the strength of the black women of that time because they had to stay strong, and stood resolute even in the toughest of times.
"They worked hard and they went through hardships that I believe the men didn't go through. The went through constantly being raped and having to raise children with fathers... they hate," he said. "They were strong women and you definitely have some strong women involved with this project as just actors, who are very adamant about showing that."
"Roots" premieres May 30. Watch a clip of Malachi Kirby's chat with HuffPost in the video above.