Gambia, West Africa 1767: A young 17 year old named Kunte Kinte is taken by slave traders and transported to America, facing an uncertain future.
After a failed attempt at revolting, Kunte Kinte lands in America where he is sold into slavery. There he befriends fellow slave Fiddler.
America 1776: A now older Kunte Kinte's final attempt to escape causes his owners to amputate his right foot.
1778: Now working with the plantation master as his wagon driver, Kunte marries Bell (who nursed him after he lost his foot) and fathers Kizzy.
1806: Kunte's daughter Kizzy is grown and is immediately raped by new owner Tom Moore after she is sold.
1824: Kizzy has a son named Chicken George and his father is plantation owner Tom Moore. Chicken George grows up to be a fighting rooster trainer and is sent to England.
1859: Chicken George returns home a free man and finds his son Tom married. Tom is later sent to fight in the Civil War.
The 1860's: After the Civil War, freedom has come for Chicken George and other slaves. Chicken George and his family move to Henning, Tennessee to start a new life.