A Defense For Missy Anne Reynolds
Okay, just hear my argument. Then you can kill me. Yes, I am defending Missy Anne Reynolds. I know she is probably one of the most hated characters in Roots. Cheers probably rang out when Kizzy spit in her water. It has been said that Missy Anne essentially ruined Kizzy's life and betrayed her. In fact, I've even read where some viewers had a hard time ever liking Sandy Duncan again after seeing her play the "evil" Missy Anne.
Okay, let's just hold up. The first time I saw Roots I thought the same thing about Missy Anne. I couldn't believe she was letting Kizzy be sold and was not trying to save her after she promised Kizzy she was protect her. I thought she was no friend at all.
However, when I watched Roots again I began to see it differently. Missy Anne was the one who was actually betrayed by Kizzy! Missy Anne and Kizzy promised each other that they would never reveal that Kizzy knew how to read. Guess what. Missy Anne never did reveal that. She kept the secret. Missy Anne knew it was wrong to teach Kizzy to read. Granted, she shouldn't have done that when they were little. But, she did. And what's done is done.
Kizzy knew she could never let anyone know she knew how to read. Missy Anne trusts her because Missy Anne's ass is on the line too. Missy Anne offers Kizzy what she considers to be a great offer: to be her personal slave and them live together forever. What does Kizzy do? She betrays Missy Anne and uses what Missy Anne taught her against Dr. Reynolds when she copies the travel pass for Noah. She stabbed Missy Anne in the back, and that's why Missy Anne doesn't try to save her. She feels betrayed and feels like she can't trust Kizzy anymore.
Given the time period and circumstance the offer Missy Anne gave Kizzy was actually a good one. Living with Missy Anne would have provided a good life for a black slave in 1806. Kizzy was going to live her whole life a slave so why not make it as good as possible? She would have had a relatively easy life living with Missy Anne. Missy Anne probably traveled to Europe and elsewhere, and Kizzy might could have gone with her. AND, Missy Anne was not going to come in during the night and rape her. Kizzy was too much like Kunta. For him it cost him half his foot. For her it cost her losing her virginity to a white rapist and never seeing her parents again.
If she had not betrayed Missy Anne none of that would have ever happened. Kizzy would have lived her life at least close enough to be able to see her parents from time to time. Missy Anne would have allowed her to visit. She said she would.
And think about how much trouble Kizzy got Missy Anne in. Missy Anne had to face the wrath of her uncle and her father. Her ass was grass once it was found out she taught Kizzy to read.
Can anyone see my points?