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Queen: The Story of An American Family
Queen: The Story of an American Family is a 1993 partly factual historical novel written by Alex Haley and David Stevens. It brought back to the consciousness of many White Americans the plight of the children of the plantation: the offspring of black slave women and their white masters, who were legally their fathers' slaves. A miniseries adaptation called Alex Haley's Queen, starring Halle Berry, Danny Glover, Tim Daly, Ann-Margret and Ossie Davis, aired on CBS on February 14, 1993.
Alex Haley's Queen • Two-Disk Special Edition • (1992)
Alex Haley's Queen • Episode 1
The first episode develops the relationship between James Jackson III, a rich plantation owner's son and Easter, a slave. James marries a wealthy Southern lady, but he carries on with a lifelong affair with Easter, which will result in the birth of Queen. Queen's fair skin makes her soon notice that she is not as black as her fellow slaves. She is taken into the main plantation house to be the personal slave of James' daughter, where she spends her youth years trying to discern if Jackson is her real father. The Civil War seriously affects James' plantation putting an end to the old ways and the family matriarch tells Queen to find another place to live.
Alex Haley's Queen • Episode 2
Queen journeys away from the plantation and discovers the delight of passing for white. However, when she is about to marry an ex Confederate soldier named Digby, she reveals her real roots and therefore faces his extreme anger. Abused and alone, Queen is forced into exile once more. Eventually, she gets employment at the home of two spinters and starts a relationship with a black hired hand by the name Davis, shortly afterwards becoming pregnant of his child. Abandoned by the father and abused by the ladies, Queen escapes the relative comforts of her employers' home, taking her child with her.
Alex Haley's Queen • Episode 3
Reunited with Davis, the father of his son, Queen finds love but also hate as the man is lynched. Taking the road once more, Queen finds a new job and meets Alec Haley, who will become his husband and the father of her second son, Simon. Though Queen never finds an answer to her quest for belonging, she is at least moderately at peace with the place in which she finds herself. A household fire seems to be the triggering event that together with her sons' departure, causes Queen's nervous breakdown. She has serious issues seeing her first son Abner depart, and her mental state goes worse to the point that she needs to be institutionalized.
Alex Haley's Queen Cast • Members
Queen: The Story of An American Family • Reviews
"I have read this book and seen the movie at least a thousand times. I understand that a lot of people don't think that it measures up to Roots, but I found this book drew me in and I couldn't put it down. I related to this character so much that I cried as I read it. I loved that it started with the family story in Ireland. I am a product of a mixed relationship and my white family originates from Ireland. I felt like I was getting a glimpse at my heritage. I recommend this book to any avid reader." - Louisville, Kentucky.
"For the millions who loved Roots, Alex Haley continues the multigenerational saga of his father's family through his grandmother, Queen. The proud daughter of a slave and a white slave owner, her story is an unforgettable saga of love and war, of slavery and freedom, played out against the canvas of America's history." - Portland, California.
"I remember back when this aired on CBS in the early '90s. Halle Berry plays the late Alex Haley's paternal grandmother, the ever strong, fiery and resilient Queen! This story is a tour de force and has an excellent supporting cast. This was Alex Haley's last work before he passed away a year or two before this was first aired. As I said, all of the cast shine in this and it makes a great addition to your DVD collection and brilliantly caps off the Roots saga!" - Orlando, Florida.
"Alex Haley's Queen gives the other side of Alex Haley's family. The first of his family tree, Roots, tells of the African Slave Trade and his mother's side of the family. This side of his story tells about how his father's side of the family came to be and how they survived the Civil War. It depicts how his grandmother who was 1/2 white, 1/4 black and 1/4 Native American had difficulties with her 'ethnicity' and how she prevailed." - Chicago, Illinois.
"This is Halle Berry's best work yet. She should be nominated for Best Actress. I have now watched all the Roots episodes, as well as Roots; The Next Generations. This is a brilliant finale for Alex Haley's legacy. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in American history and / or genealogy. I rarely cry during movies, but I found myself sobbing during this one." - Belmont, Massachusetts.
"The Roots Collection is truly not complete without Alex Haley's Queen. A true moving tale of the woes of a black mother trying to protect her family from the hardships of reconstruction in the South East, Georgia area. Queen is one more chapter to the Saga of the Alex Haley family. Great Movie!" - Waco, Texas.