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Part V (1932-1933) 

It's now 1932 and these are hard times during the Depression. A young Alex Haley is living with his parents Bertha and Simon and his grandparents. Simon is frustrated working at the ... See full summary »


Alex Haley (books), Ernest Kinoy (developed for television by) | 2 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Irene Cara ... Bertha Palmer Haley
Robert Culp ... Lyle Pettijohn
Dorian Harewood ... Simon Haley
Dina Merrill ... Mrs. Hickinger
Brock Peters ... Ab Dekker
Beah Richards ... Cynthia Palmer
Stan Shaw ... Will Palmer
Paul Winfield ... Dr. Horace Huguley
Dennis Fimple ... Sheriff Duffy
Lynn Hamilton ... Cousin Georgia Anderson
Les Lannom ... Jake
Debbi Morgan ... Elizabeth Harvey
Logan Ramsey ... F.R. Lewis
Timothy Scott ... Alvin Peacock
Mel Stewart ... Dr. Crawford


It's now 1932 and these are hard times during the Depression. A young Alex Haley is living with his parents Bertha and Simon and his grandparents. Simon is frustrated working at the lumberyard but with a Master's degree in agriculture, dreams of breaking free and teaching. Will has little interest in modernizing the operation but good news for Simon comes with a job offer as a college professor at Alabama A & M. He's embarrassed at the things that the school's president, Dr. Horace Huguley, has to do to please possible donors. In addition to his teaching duties, Simon tries to meet black farmers in the county to help improve their crop yield. Simon finds it difficult to help them as most don't own the land they farm. He meets Lyle Pettijohn the County Agricultural agent who is supportive of Simon's scientific approach to improving farming methods but also realizes the challenges both of them face in having to deal with the landowners. Petttijohn pays the price for supporting Simon's ... Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

22 February 1979 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


This episode takes place from 1932 to 1933. See more »


[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »


Referenced in Roots: The Next Generations: Part VI (1939-1950) (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Alex Haley's childhood and the loss of his mother
15 January 2017 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

Chapter five finds young Alex Haley a boy of 11 (Christoff St. John) during Depression-era 1932, carefully watching over his ailing mother Bertha (Irene Cara) while his oblivious father Simon (Dorian Harewood) works as a college professor at Alabama A & M in Normal, helping local farmers with techniques learned by earning his Master's Degree. Paul Winfield plays Prof. Horace Huguley, a performance nominated for an Emmy, and Robert Culp also scores as Lyle Pettijohn, who tries to keep things from getting out of hand with landowner D.L. Lewis (Logan Ramsey), who has no regard for the poor people working his land for his personal profit. Ab Decker (Brock Peters) is determined to fight for what's rightly his, especially since President Roosevelt has ensured financial reimbursement for farmers. Alex Haley continues to listen to his family discussing the old African on the Henning front porch, as his mother's strength finally gives out. When we next see Alex Haley, he's a young man struggling to find his way in a world very different from the one his father struggled in.

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