MovieChat Forums > Roots Discussion > A Defense For Missy Anne Reynolds

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?

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I don't see your point really no. She did it for freedom. Just like her Father had always taught her. And why should she not fight for freedom, after all that white people had done to her and her family?

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Right, but can you not see it from Missy Anne's viewpoint too?

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Doesn't matter why she did it. The ends don't justify the means in this case.

Not saying that Slavery was right, but it is what it is.

"Hell yea I punch my bitch, and beat my kids in public" "EMINEM

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YOu have a point about Missy Anne feeling betrayed as well. I always thought of it as her seeing blacks as expendable and she could always buy another slave. At the same time she was a Christian and should have been forgiving of what Kizzy had done.

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On the face of it, living as Missy Anne's personal slave would have offered an easier life for Kizzy.

But I think we saw enough of Missy Anne's character to realise what a spoilt, capricious self-centred girl she was. What she liked most about Kizzy was the power she held over her; she threatened to have her whipped before when she mentioned abolishers.

Life in Missy Anne's service would have been a constant worry, obeying the whim of someone who held total power. Sooner or later Anne would have had a falling out and had her whipped. When she got bored of her a terrible fate would have awaited her.

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Well, it couldn't have been any worse than what Kizzy experienced as Tom Moore's slave. As long as Kizzy kept Missy Anne happy she wouldn't have had much to worry about. I don't think Missy Anne would have had her whipped.

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"As long as Kizzy kept Missy Anne happy"

Yeah ok, so I suppose "Toby" should have had the sense not to run; then he wouldn't have had half his foot cut off! And if Martin Luther King had kept his mouth shut; he probably wouldn't have got shot.

In life, sooner or later one has to stand up, get up from one's knees and say "NO!"

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First off no I don't see it as betrayal. Missy Anne was a spoiled little brat and Kizzy knew that. No matter what Missy anne did it would have been blamed on someone else by her uncle/dad. Example, when the Uncle first walked it on Missy/Anne's first day back and caught Kizzy reading to Missy Anne he scoled Kizzy not Missy Anne even though it was clearly Missy Anne's idea
(remember Kizzy wasn't suppose to know how to read) How else would Kizzy resite the words like she did if Missy Anne hadn't helped her. But still he blamed Kizzy and even apologized to Missy Anne for Kizzy's behavior.

Secondly freedom is a very serious issue. It is now and I'm sure it was then. This was a big deal for Kizzy to do. i'm sure she thought of the consequences of forging that letter and I'm sure Missy Anne's punishment was the least of her thoughts. She knew that she had far more to loose than Missy Anne who would probably receive a slap on the wrist whereas Kizzy could have been killed.

I think that some mordern day Americans take freedom for granted. You think of what you would do for your freedom. I know for me, that wouldn't be a hard question.

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It's an interesting argument. Missy Anne's expression as she's watching Kizzy being taken away is one of anger; not indifference. She tries to cover it up a bit when she turns to face Dr. Reynolds; but ends up showing some of her true colors anyway with her remark about how Kizzy made a fool of her and how stupid Kizzy is. Dr. Reynolds' expression is one of regret; not only about having to sell Noah and Kizzy, but that his beloved Anne doesn't seem at all affected by what has just happened.

I have to wonder if Dr. Reynolds would've given in if Missy Anne had asked him to have Kizzy brought back. He never denied Anne anything; but would he have denied her this? He seems to think that she doesn't understand how things work on the plantation, and how order is maintained (going back to the scene where he caught Kizzy reading). Would he have explained it to Anne and let Kizzy be taken anyway?


"I hate Illinois Nazi's."

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It's an interesting argument. But, its flawed. . . . . I suggest the poster take in many more slave narratives, biographies (even partial ones), assertions and other slave history.

The argument that only uppity, disobedient slaves got hurt is simply not true [a number of slaves learned this the hard way]. Certain masters beat slaves just out of pure hate, others did it in a fit of rage, others did it just for the fun of it, others still by mistaken assumptions, others felt they needed to keep the slaves scared. Slaves could be beaten for passing out from exhaustion or from making a simple mistake [all humans make these at some point].

Any of a number of "innocent" black men were trapped when the white mistress decided to play the role of potiphar's wife.

Olaudah Equiano was kicked at one point, after being put in a slave pen, just because he was a stranger to the controller of the slave pen. Another slave was whipped for brushing against a white female in the field even though she went out to where the slaves were (and they couldn't go elsewhere).

The fact is that, as sadist and full of hatred as many pale whites were (and many still are), being a good boy only saved most from an immediate & brutal death but it did not save a great many from other horrid abuse.

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[deleted]

Miss Annie Is a bad person you saw in the windows the eyes of evil she's 40 times worse as her fixit uncle and father. Betraying her friend that is just really low. Her uncle never mad at her I wish I could have hsve those guys punch in the teeth those guys should have got a punishment from the punisher trafficking, kidnapping and selling human pepole that adds up to 90
Years in prison

Bond James Bond

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Miss Annie Is a bad person you saw in the windows the eyes of evil she's 40 times worse as her fixit uncle and father. Betraying her friend that is just really low. Her uncle never mad at her I wish I could have hsve those guys punch in the teeth those guys should have got a punishment from the punisher trafficking, kidnapping and selling human pepole that adds up to 90
Years in prison

Bond James Bond

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[deleted]

vERY Bad.

and just in macri,2032,your so right.

the way she is just'staring at KIZZY imploring,PLease help me Missy Ann,Missy Ann
screaming such imploring,(begging) and her shutting the shade/curtain,with a clear expression of her nefarious,smirk,like,OMG hate the character so much tonight as we have on roots xmas eve. dec. 23rd again right now! UGH! so horrid,poor kizzy.
When she seen her what? 25 to 30 years or so later maybe way older than that but when she spit in her water,AFTER AGAIN KIZZY BEING more mean by feigning like she did not even KNOW her so called"BFF" i was so happy saying YES! get her kizzy.so at least Kizzy b4 dying,and going off to heaven,to forever RIP,away from the evil of Kizzy and gringo's...(white folk) IMO? KIZZY got her revenge,i love her smile at the end,to spitting in her water lmfao love her! and love ROOTS,best tv series
premise on reality event(s)ever done.100 to 130 million viewers,and Nielsen rating
prove it.

adios!

Bella...

Love The Original SAGA-ROOTS por vida!
(and the entire series!)
Love The ORIGINAL BEV HILLS 90210.
Love Peyton and Lucas One Tree HIll.

Manley & Beth por vida!

(Almanzo Wilder,and Laura Elizabeth Wilder fan)

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Too bad Kizzy didn't have more time with that cup of water. Time to step behind a bush, drop her skirts and .... into dat watuh!

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Or mixed something else in a bowl of stew.

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I noticed the dr. made it all out to be kizzy's fault. even when he found out kizzy was literate, he never repremanded missy anne.
I think what really makes ppl angry about missy anne is, yrs later when they meet again, she pretends not to even know kizzy.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
jealousy will get you NOWHERE!

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[deleted]

Blaming the actor for portraying an unlikeable character?? Omg. You are an illiterate ass! Get an education Loser!


I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.[Frank Lloyd Wright]

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The OP is a total moron.

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First off :
Can we try to remember this is (late)author Alex Haley's family history
and was a novel he wrote not just a "made for TV mimi-series" written by Hollywood? I mean c'mon,this man took 12 years to track down his relations and write this. ...and we're going to treat it like fiction?

All the main charaters portrayed here actually lived and breathed on this earth. Not just Haley's family but the caucasion families as well.



It would be no surpise that Missy (not Mizzy) Anne would have been spoiled and her every whim catered too. Girls back then were supposed to be "sugar & spice" and all that nonesense. She's more so beyond annoying & even naive' top the point of nausea.

Sandy Duncan takes a real person and takes her personality up a few notches making her even more dislikeable.

Anyhow there's two ways to look at this :

1. Yes,Kizzy took a large gamble and lost by forging a traveling pass out of love and wanting freedom for her "man". In this sense,yes youcould say it's her fault. She did in this way "betray" Anne but whose to say that one day,when older,Anne wouldn't betray her?

Elderly Anne pretended she didn't recognize KIzzy or ever knew someone by that name. That showed what KIzzy's mom said was true. (Back then) two kids of different colors can be friends but when people get older,things change considerably.
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2. Anne gave the pass to Kizzy to start with. She of course says nothing about her part in it and can't save Kizzy no matter what because she'd be punished by Robert Reed's character or she'd be seen as a "n. lover" . Really,they both share the blame & as for Kizzy's parents,they should have watched her closer when associating that closely with a "toubob".

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Think about it folks....a nice clean,pretty,well bred Southern girl,in the 1800s and she's going to save a slave from being sold...or in this case from herself and making a bad choice? Not likely.

The writers could have wrote in that she saves her but that would be false and not believable at all. Some "liberties" were taken here,being a movie it happens but they still had to be as real as 70s TV would allow.

In the end though the real fault is that Kizzy,her parents and black people ever had to live this way,under the fists of white society and slave trading to begin with.




happipuppi13 *arf,man!*!

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"under the fists of white society" - your use of the words "white society" is rather a broad stroke don't you think? There were more "white societies" operating in the 1800s that were NOT slave-based than were.

It's a shame these people had to live in the EVIL slave-owning society of the united states. Period.


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I know there were large segments of whites in America that did not agree with slavery and made money in far more basic and honest ways.

When I said "white society" in my paragraph,it should be obvious to anyone that I'm talking about salve traders,slave owners and people who were out right racist and who made laws geared to keeping that evil alive and well and to (as montioned) keep the Negros under their fist and/or control.

Being causcasion myself (althoguh Italian American)it would be dumb to say that because that could include (possibly) ancestors of my own past. Don't know of any in my family history but I can only hope not.

I guess I should have said "racist white" or such.


happipuppi13 *arf,man!*!

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yes "racist white" or just "racist" (because contrary to popular myth not all racists are white) would be more accurate.

Also I was not referring only to "whites in America" - believe it or not other societies exist in the world beyond the borders of USA.

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I knowthat too but you never hear people talk about the other countries who dabbled (for lack of a better word) in slavery.

Seems people forget about the time of Pharoahs in Egypt keeping the people of Isreal in slavery and bondaged servitude. (Or have people not watched The Ten Commandments" recently? )

happipuppi13 *arf,man!*!

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Ancient Rome too of course, but "way-back" history seems less relevant to most people. Unfortunately! - because there is much to learn from ancient cultures.

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I tend to agree with the OP in a sense. As for Missy Anne not remembering Kizzy, she was an old lady! How many things could you remember from 50 years ago. If you say "Well Kizzy remembered her" well yeah and she also has been stewing over it her whole life. Because of Missy Anne (in her mind) she got sold away from her parents and betrayed so she will always remember Missy Anne. I'm only 33 but I can't remember everyone I knew 25 years ago and here is Missy Anne an old lady and you expect her to remember Kizzy?
Also I'll point out that in the book Missy Anne doesn't say anything to her parents as Kizzy is being taken away. Nothing of the you can't trust them nature. It says how Kizzy had some hope that Missy Anne might try to convince her parents to get her back. But then the rest of the story goes with Kizzy. We don't even see Kunta and Bell again. The law was the law and Kizzy was punished for it.

--------------------------------
I did sixty in five minutes once...

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Doowopfan and the OP have racist feelings inside them and don't even know it.

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Missy Isma jerk she should go to prison

Bond James Bond

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Hunny if it's one thing white folk didn't forget back in those days it was their mammie's i.e. Mammy Belle who was Kizzy's mother she remembered Kizzy and you're daft if you think she didn't. Also bringing up the point someone said Kizzy was too much like Kunta I guess the OP said it Kizzy in that sense was more like her mother who also helped her first husband escape to no avail.

like others said Missy Anne who was actually The Dr.'s daughter is why she was so spoiled that child ain't convince a soul to get Kizzy back. To her in the end they were property DUH! I did wonder did she ever marry her 4th cousin probably not since she still lived in the states, nasty kissing cousins.

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Most people don't realize just how entrenched the slave-trading industry was not that long ago in virtually all societies existing in the world. Two hundred years ago, three-quarters of the world's population were in bondage of one kind or another. Eighty thousand slaves were trafficked every year from Africa to the New World. Ship owners, slave traders, sugar exporters, chocolate makers and plantation owners were earning fortunes.

I recommend a very interesting book "Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves" by Adam Hochschild, chronicling the grassroots human rights campaign that (against immense odds) ended slave trading in the British Empire approx 50 years before abolition occured in the United States. It's a very interesting read and details the suffering of Carribean slaves who believe it or not endured far worse work- and living-conditions than southern-U.S. slaves.

http://www.amazon.ca/Bury-Chains-Prophets-Rebels-Empires/dp/0618104690

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I thought long and hard about this issue after first watching "Roots" (which IMHO, should be shown to and discussed with every American Student at some point in their education), discussing the concept of "Universal White Guilt" with my Significant Other, who has her Doctorate in Psychology and specializes in Multicultural & Gender Issues, and doing my own research on the subject. My conclusion was that slavery was/is not a matter of White over Black, nor even One race over Another Race, but one of Power Differentials in terms of Class and Societal Structures. Most every race & culture have had Slavery at some point in their "lifespan" (an example would be the "Indentured Servitude" of Britain which used both classes as well as races such as the Scottish and Irish, as well as Inter-Tribal slavery among the various African Tribes... which was actually a fair portion of the opening of "Roots" the Book)

~Ian

"I think the biggest challenge is not to write the wrong music" - W.G. "Snuffy" Walden

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[deleted]

[deleted]

Most white societies in the US (let alone the rest of the world) didn't own slaves but they still benefitted from white privilege and often used it to discriminate against or disenfranchise minority populations, be they Native Americans, Blacks, hispanics (in Texas or western territories) or Chinese. Slavery was the highest expression of that privilege - what's more one they tolerated, a few abolitionists notwithstanding. And many of those who fought for the Union didn't necessarily care for the blacks but fought for the unity of their country against seditious rebels. As can be seen in the miniseries based on Alex Haley's Queen, Northern Union soldiers could be just as callous towards blacks as southerners were. You can ask that it be clarified that it was "white American society" but the argument still stands.
So yes, it was "under the fists of white society" all the same. White American society. And no amount of noyer le poissson - "drowning the fish", as the French say - by pointing to other slave societies throughout the world or African enslavement of their own is going to change that cold-hearted fact about this society. Most other contemporary slave owning societies were not founded on lofty Republican principles proclaiming the universal rights of man. Thus the insult to injury.



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First off :
Can we try to remember this is (late)author Alex Haley's family history
and was a novel he wrote not just a "made for TV mimi-series" written by Hollywood? I mean c'mon,this man took 12 years to track down his relations and write this. ...and we're going to treat it like fiction?

All the main charaters portrayed here actually lived and breathed on this earth. Not just Haley's family but the caucasion families as well.


Was much of it real though? Much of Haley's book was fictional and, on top of that, plagiarized by Harold Courlander book's "The African." Haley should've been stripped of his Pulitzer prize and sued for everything he got from "Roots." But, because Courlander was white vs. Haley being white, the judge wanted to avoid a so-called racist backlash, the dispute was settled out of court.

Afterwards, the hack, Haley still continues to be held as a cultural figure, despite being nothing but a crook using his race and lies about his so-called family history, while getting rich off another man's work. Disgusting.

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I agree somewhat with the OP. Kizzy probably didnt kow how good a life shoe could have had with Missy Anne. Sure, she would be away from he rparents, but she would be with the niece of their owner, so I am guessing they could have seen each other here and there. It was Kizzy's shortsightedness which no negro had overcome couldnt have possible known the benefits of accepting the "promotion" to be Missy Anne's slave girl

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u talk like the bitch planned to set her free, *beep* outta here!

___________
domestic abuse at it's best

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The OP is right - Kizzy betrayed Missy Anne and misused what she had been taught in friendship (even though she was completely morally justified in doing so). However, Missy Anne was also weak and selfish in not protecting her. She's far from a Saint, but she's also nowhere near as evil as most of the slave masters in this series.





Your name is of no importance and you live in the pipe in the upstairs water closet.

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Missy Anne was just as evil she mentally abused Kizzy and manipulated her just as much as Master would w/ out physical touching. Using God as justification for their cruelty talking about their friends heifa please! Like Missy said the natural order in her mind was black were slaves and whites owned if ya'll really think living in the big house is peaches and cream ya'll need to read slave narratives. You forget Missy did get married and probably had kids whose to say her future husband and or sons wouldn't rape Kizzy.

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There is no defense for her. Just as there is no defense for slavery.

_______________
Conservatives, I hear your complaints. What are your solutions?

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