Prop manacles worn by LeVar Burton as Kunta Kinte in Roots

Prop manacles worn by LeVar Burton as Kunta Kinte in Roots

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Actor LeVar Burton wore these prop manacles in the miniseries Roots (ABC, 1977), a dramatic portrayal of slavery as experienced by several generations of one family. Based on Alex Haley's autobiographical novel, Roots began with Kunta Kinte, an African youth brought to America as an enslaved person in the 1700s, and ended with the emancipation of his descendants during the Civil War. Watched by more than 100 million people, it was a significant departure from programs that had traditionally relegated blacks to minor, stereotyped roles.
Currently not on view
Object Name
shackles, prop
date made
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
paint (overall material)
steel (overall material)
overall: 6 1/2 in x 53 in; 16.51 cm x 134.62 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
The Wolper Organization
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
Popular Entertainment
National Treasures exhibit
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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