Saturday, August 11, 2012

Happy birthday, Alex Haley

It is the birthday of author Alex Haley (1921), whose best-selling novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family (1976) won a Pulitzer Prize special award in 1977. Roots ostensibly told the story of Haley's ancestors beginning with Kunta Kinte, an 18th century West African man taken as a slave and sold in the United States. Although subsequent researchers suggested that Haley may have been misled during his investigation in Africa, the work remains a substantial representation of the slave trade in the era and of African Americans in the South in that era. The book was adapted for two television miniseries, in 1977 and 1979. The original miniseries was a groundbreaking event, and one of the highest rated TV series ever. Here is a video visit to Alex Haley's birthplace in Tennessee. Enjoy!

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