In the Alex Haley novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family, Kunta Kinte was born a member of the Kinte clan in Gambia, Africa in 1750. As a young proud man he was captured by slavers and taken to America, where he was bought by a Virginia plantation owner who renamed him Toby. In the 1977 TV mini-series based on the book, Kunta Kinte was portrayed by LeVar Burton as a young man and John Amos as an adult. In the 2016 remake, Kunta Kinte is portrayed by Malachi Kirby.
Malachi Kirby is a 26-year-old English actor known for his roles on Jekyll & Hyde (Spring Heeled Jack Burton), Doctor Who (Gastron), and BBC’s EastEnders (Wayne Ladlow), among others. Part 1 of Roots will air May 30 at 9pm on A&E, History Channel, Lifetime and LMN. It is a four-part series which ends on Thursday, June 2.