‘Roots’ actor John Amos to work on project in Jamaica
At 83, veteran actor John Amos is not giving up just yet and with his son, KC, is planning to do some work in Jamaica and showcase the island’s talents.
Amos and KC and director Ricky Lee, who have all been in Jamaica for sometime, accompanied Minister of Culture Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange to a function open sporting facilities in Discovery Bay and Browns Town last Friday. Amos spoke briefly to an audience at the first stop.
More popularly known for his roles in Good Times, Roots, The District, All in the Family and on the big screen, Coming to America and its follow-up, Die Hard 2, along with other credits, Amos said young people can make a meaningful contribution to the arts while having gainful employment.
“I think [that] through the arts we can show the young people how they can make a contribution, how they can find meaningful and gainful employment and express themselves artistically,” he stated.
“I hope all the young people that are here today should carry the word back to other young people so that they can become involved because the future is theirs and anything they want to accomplish they can accomplish because of all the efforts that have been made on their behalf by those who have gone in front.”
He indicated that he and his son will be working on a project, said to be a mini-series, in Jamaica.
According to Amos, “I intend, with my son, who’s an accomplished film-maker, to make a contribution to your existing arts programme. I think that through the arts and our combined efforts we can have a positive impact on the future of the young people who have shown an indication that they want to be involved in the arts in Jamaica. Jamaica is very rich in its culture and its history and I hope to be part of the effort to bring that to the world ‘s attention.”
Grange hailed the accomplishments of the iconic actor.
“We’re blessed with the presence of one of our most outstanding black actors and someone who has starred in one of the most powerful production, called Roots,” Grange noted.
“Thank you so much for representing us so well and being able to translate the experiences of our ancestors and what they went through in such a very able manner, so we’re happy to have you here,” Grange told Amos.
John Amos played the adult Kunta Kinte, a character in the 1976 novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family, by American author Alex Haley, which telld the life story of Kunta Kinte, who was captured in west Africa and sold into slavery. The ground-breaking 1977 miniseries about the African-American experience of slavery was a mega hit, with huge ratings. It won nine Emmy awards, Golden Globe and a Peabody Award.
In an interview with TVinsider.com last year February, during the 45th anniversary of Roots, Amos, said that he was “grateful” for the series.
“I realised Roots was going to change the game in terms of the education of the viewing audience, and it was going to change the game in terms of opportunities. But, not so dramatically that we could say, ‘Well now the struggle is over.’ It continues to this day.”