Showing Roots (2016 Lifetime)

Showing Roots (2016 Lifetime)

Cast:  Maggie GraceAdam BrodyElizabeth McGovernUzo Aduba

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Set in the year 1977, two women look to integrate their small town, inspired by the miniseries “Roots” as it hits the airwaves.


The movie opens up with a woman named Violet, who is selecting just the right hairstyle. She is saving up for a hairstyling chair from recycling bottles. On her way to the recycling station, Bud drives his van and hits her wagon. Smashing her dreams and all her bottle. Pearl lives on the other side of town and also does hair for women in the neighborhood. She dreams of the same thing. 

Pearl and Violet work at a hair salon for a pushy woman named Shirley. Shirley is also racist, turning away black clients. Bud work on a construction site that refuses to let black workers on-site and treat them as equals. 

When Violet’s chair arrives at the salon and signs up for the beauty school test, Shirley steals her chair until she passes the test. 

Meanwhile, Pearl and her family gather around the TV for the premiere of Roots. Everyone in America is watching in one way or another. It creates a conversation around slavery. Pearl and Violet talk while folding towels about how impactful the program was. Shirley tells the women that they work from her, and she will not have any backtalk. Shirley angrily steps out, leaving Violet and Pearl to fix a woman with a bad perm. The woman hates her new hair, but her husband thinks she looks sexy AF. Shirley fires them both and steals Violet’s chair. 

The hits keep coming, and Violet’s grandmother dies. Violet does her grandmother’s hair for the service, and everyone in town wants the new do. They go to Shirley, but she can’t replicate it. Violet and Pearl decide to go into business together and open a salon. Bud helps them with repairs in a montage. 

Roots still play in black households across America. It is difficult for Pearl and her family to watch. Peral talks to Violet about white privilege. Then they steal Shirley’s chair back. Then they open the salon to a little fan fair. Pearl and Violet rethink things and focus on black hair instead.

Pearl goes for the hard sell and tries to convince her friends to wear their hair natural, but black women don’t want Violet to work on their wigs or wear their hair natural in a white neighborhood. Things change when Pearl’s grandmother wants to wear her hair naturally after seeing Roots. Violet does well, and Mrs. Hattie promises to tell all her friends. Then the women jive walk in the middle of the street and have a hair parade. The competing business threatens Shirley. 

Pearl tells her off when a white woman comes by and doesn’t want to use a comb or scissors, but Violet doesn’t want to lose the business but holds firm to their principals. The woman tries to go in the backdoor, but Violet and Pearl don’t have it. The woman finally comes in and loves her new hairstyle. 

Someone paints Jesus to be a black man, and Shirley blames Pearl. She spouts her racist beliefs, and the women get into a fight causing a fire in the salon. Violet and bud rescue her chair, but the store burns to the ground. 

Pearl goes to Washington to fight for civil rights. Violet puts her hair in the middle of the street, and women fight for her to do their hair. Shirley goes out of business, I guess.

Side Note

Minority Report: Pearl, Hattie, Clara, Rosa del, Joe, Construction workers, Pearl’s family, townies 

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Overall rating

🔪🔪🔪🔪 (4 Knives)

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*Photo Credit: © 2016 Lifetime

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