Alex Haley:The Famous American Author Had More Than African “Roots”!

Alex Haley is a great American author who wrote about his own lineage in the epic Roots which became a very popular television miniseries & the subject of great controversy.Here’s more on that from Wikipedia:

“In 1976, Haley published , a novel based loosely on his family’s history, starting with the story of Kunta Kinte, kidnapped in Gambia in 1767 and transported to the Province of Maryland to be sold as a slave. Haley claimed to be a seventh-generation descendant of Kunta Kinte, and Haley’s work on the novel involved ten years of research, intercontinental travel and writing.

He went to the village of Juffure, where Kunta Kinte grew up and which is still in existence, and listened to a tribal historian tell the story of Kinte’s capture.[1] Haley also traced the records of the ship, The Lord Ligonier, which he said carried his ancestor to America. Genealogists have since disputed Haley’s research and conclusions and Haley made an out-of-court settlement with Harold Courlander, who had sued him for plagiarism.

Haley was briefly a “writer in residence” at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. He began to write “Roots” there. Many local people remember Haley fondly. He enjoyed spending time at a local bistro “The Savoy” in Rome New York where he listened to the piano player. Today, there is a special table in honor of Haley with a painting of Alex writing “Roots” on a yellow legal tablet.Haley said the most emotional moment of his life was on September 29, 1967, when he stood at the site in Annapolis, Maryland where his ancestor had arrived 200 years before.

Roots was eventually published in 37 languages and Haley won a Special Award for it in 1977 from the Pulitzer Board. Roots was also made into a popular television miniseries that year. The film reached a record-breaking 130 million viewers when it was serialized on television. Roots emphasized that African Americans have a long history and that not all of that history is lost, as many believed. Its popularity sparked an increased public interest in genealogy, as well.In 1979, ABC aired the sequel miniseries Roots: The Next Generations, which continued the story of Kunta Kinte’s descendants, concluding with Haley’s arrival in Jufureh. Haley was portrayed (at various ages) by future soap opera actor Kristoff St. John, The Jeffersons actor Damon Evans, and Tony Award winner James Earl Jones.

In the late 1980s, Haley began working on a second historical novel based on another branch of his family, traced through his grandmother Queen—the daughter of a black slave woman and her white master. Haley died in Seattle, Washington of a heart attack with the story unfinished and was buried beside his childhood home in Henning, Tennessee. At his request, it was finished by David Stevens and was published as Alex Haley’s Queen; it was subsequently made into a movie in 1993.”(End of Excerpt) Read the rest here.

Although most of his research has been disputed regarding  Roots, it seems that there is scientific evidence that supports the research he did for the book  Queen.Here’s more on that from the Telegraph:

“The tests have established that Haley – whose work is credited with helping transform the self-image of millions of black Americansis directly descended from a Scottish paternal bloodline. The findings came after a sample of DNA from Haley’s nephew Chris Haley matched that of his distant cousin June Baff-Black, who lives in Wales and whose shared lineage starts in 17th century Scotland. Until recently, Chris Haley had only word of mouth family history to show that his great, great-grandfather had been born of an African slave mother and white Scottish father, both of whom lived and worked on a slave plantation in the US.

The findings, by the website, are the first scientific confirmation of Alex Haley’s own research in which he traced his ancestry back to William Baugh (a variation of Baff) – an overseer of an Alabama slave plantation – who was thought to have fathered a child with a female slave, called Sabrina, or “Viney“. Their son, named Alec, is thought to have been born between 1850 and 1860. Alex Haley, who died in 1992, traced this side of his family history in his book Queen, which followed the biographical novel ‘Roots: the Saga of an American Family’.

He was unable to fully prove his research by traditional genealogical methods using birth, marriage and death certificates and parish records, as his ancestors were African-American slaves and so very little documentation about them existed. Since many female slaves were raped by their owners there was frequently no record of the true father. Instead Haley relied on the oral histories handed down from generation to generation as his primary source of ancestral information.”(End of Excerpt)Read the rest here.

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Filed under Historical Reasons, People Who Do Us Proud, America

8 responses to “Alex Haley:The Famous American Author Had More Than African “Roots”!

  1. Pingback: Flamenco Dancing Guitar and Cajon Spanish Music » Blog Archive » Alex Haley:The Famous American Author Had More Than African “Roots …

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  3. I just always enjoyed watching this movie on tv. I want to know more about Alex Haley. Why did he write this movie? Why did some people liked the movie and others didn’t? Why did both sides watched the picture if they didn’t like it? What did he really think about slavery? why did the critics defended their reasons about slavery? how can I get a copy of these movies? this was the best years when i watched it many years ago on tv. thank you.

  4. I believe we have come a long way in our society. To be blessed with the first African American President, this is something to thank the Lord for. This is God’s timing, and the Word of God reminds us not to touch His Anointing, and to do His Prophet no harm. Our job as citizens is to pray for those in leadership. It is time for these leaders to stop wanting the President of the United States to fall, and especially some of these television Evangelists. I never wanted President George Bush to fall, I prayed for him and lifted him up before the Lord, as I am doing President Obama. The President has a lot on his plate, and he came in working, and wanting to do the right thing for all people. I am standing with President Obama in prayer, and I will always give him my support. The country is in a mess, and he is the one that the Lord allowed to come in at this time, and there is nothing that you could do about it. We got to learn to deal with the root caused of our problems. No one want to deal with the truth about what is going on except, our Attorney General Mr. Eric Holder. It is about a Black man being President of the United States bottom line. It is so sad that the leaders of this world has so much hate in them, and yet they still want to lead our country. I see so many people coming out now, and you can see the hatred in their eyes, and their voices. Listen to the these television anchor’s, how they just get on TV and tries to belittle President Obama. How some of the anchors tries to get other anchor’s from other news networks, to go after President Obama, to do negative reporting about him. It appears that these leaders are in “Shock” and they are still upsetted because the Lord opened the door for a Black President at this appointed time. The Lord opened up the door for President Bush to come in at his appointed time, and I was thankful. This is the first time in history that I had a chance to celebrate a Black man being elected to office of the President. I am happy, and glad about it. I wasn’t upsetted when President Bush was elected, because I knew it was God’s timing. All of the recounts in the world wasn’t going to do anything, because it was the work of the Lord. I hope we can search our hearts, and really deal with the racism that is going around in this country. We got to trust the Lord that no matter who is in office, the Lord got it ALL under control. Who is your Source? I am not worried because I know the Lord is going to work out the economy, and everything else. There is a season for everything. We have to have patience, and wait on the Lord. In the mean time just began to praise Him, and thank the Lord. I know I have been at the low bottom, and almost there now, I am not nearly where I am supposed to be, but I thank the Lord that He is working it all out for His glory. We got to come together, look at all of those precious people that was killed yesterday in New York. Our prayers should be with those families, and other families. Why are so many from the past Administration coming out speaking against President Obama. Why didn’t you do the job right when you was in for eight years? I think you should have spent those eight years being truthful to the America people, and stop looking out for only the rich, and appeared to be a cover-up up of how bad this economy was. It appears you should have told the American people the truth then. We don’t need people from the past Administration to come out as to say that you know how this country supposed to be ran, and you didn’t do anything then. Why did you only looked out for the Wall Street Crew, the AIG Crew, and not look at the mess we are in? Now you have so much to say. It could be a season for you to repent for not doing the right thing, when you knew it was wrong, and you was only about a “respect of a person.” So be quiet now! I believe you should have done the right thing when you was in office for eight years. Now you are on the outside looking in, as you have the right answers, and you made a mess then, so be quiet! Of course, you are still being paid now to go after President Obama, another outlet using you to make personal attacks on him. President Obama is a strong man, and he knew exactly what his calling was when he worked with the grassroots people in need. He can feel their pain! He knows what the people are going through. President Obama is for All people, and not for some of the people. He is a good man. I do believe President George Bush tried to do the right thing by the American People. I believe he just had some bad people working for him, and all around him. I believe those people that worked for him, didn’t tell him the truth about a lot of things, because they had their own personal agendas. I love the Former Secretary of State Condi Rice. She is my role model, she is respected, tough, and she knows her “stuff” and she is not afraid, and very smart… She has so much grace, and I want my granddaughters to be just like her. She does look a little like the First Lady Michelle Obama, and my oldest daughter. Ican tell that President George Bush is a good man. I can tell President Obama is a good man, and a good President. I also, like the Vice-President Biden. He is smart and tough, and no push over! I don’t like scary people that is afraid to speak up. So both the President, and the Vice-President will step up to the plate to face their critics, and speak to the world to let them know what they are doing for the American people. Look at all of the wars going on at this time, and the economy, many people are out of a job. Let’s come together as a Nation, and pray for the Lord to give ALL of our leaders wisdom, and deal with the root cause of racism. Stop saying it is not about race when you know that the bottom line is race, and it will always be race, if we don’t acknowledge it, confess it, repent of it, ask the Lord to forgive you, and forgive yourselves, and we work together. I don’t care if a Democrat, Republican or Independent is elected to the President of the United States. I will be praying for them as I do all of the other Presidents. I would pray and ask the Lord to give them wisdom, protection, and lead them every step of the way, and pray for their familes, and all Representatives of the White House, and their families, and people all over the world, especially the hungry and the homesless, and souls all over the world. Thank you for your time. Let’s start to do better, and we can do better. Stop getting in with these “Click” groups of people and letting them think for you. Start standing up for what is right, and stop being used by other people to do your thinking for you. God will put up and He will pull down. This is not all about you, I don’t care what your statue in the community or the world, it is ALL about the Lord. You can’t breathe without the Lord, whether you acknowledge him or not. You can’t do nothing without the Lord. The Lord will pour out His blessings upon all flesh, and He has no respect of a person. In due timing God will deal with the Just, and the Unjust. The warning comes first, then the fall. Pride goes before the fall. How do you say that you are a Christian and yet you still have so much hate in your heart toward a Black man, because God opened up the door for President Obama to be President. Why can’t you celebrate his blessings? Why are there so many blacks with that same slave mentality, and will sell your soul just to go on one of those talk shows to speak against the first Black President of the United States. I didn’t see you go on to speak against the other Presidents of the United States. this disagreement against President Obama is in a hateful way. They can’t get used to a black man is in the White House! When will the shock wear off? How long will you be in shock about President Obama is living in the White House?When will some of these Blacks get rid of that slave mentality? Why some of these Ministers will tell you not to put your mouth on your Pastors-Ministers, but yet the same ones put their mouths on the President of the United States? President Obama is the highest Minister, but yet you put your mouth on him, and say all kinds of negative things about him, and tries to draws others to think like you. Why can’t you just pray for the President? Why do you say that you are a Christian, and yet you slander the President? I like President George Bush, and I always prayed for him. I didn’t see you come after him like that, and I am glad that you didn’t. We can disagree but we don’t have to let so much hate, racism, plots, plans, and attacks on his life life. When we start digging these holels for others “You” may fall in it. When you start setting traps, be careful because “You” may get caught in it. The Bible says we will reap what we sow. That is Bible and the truth. I see so much hatred coming from some of the Ministers in the Pulpits, many times I don’t want to visit their church. God is a God of love! So who are you representing? Is is Satan? Satan is about hate, and destroying your lives! Satan is about planning attacks, plots, and digging holes for others to fall? So, who are you representing? Why are you acting just like Satan? But, yet you say you are a Christian! What do your Pastor say? What is he preaching? Do your Pastor pulled you to the side and said this is hatred not of God? Do your Pastor calls other Pastors to see what they are thinking, and they get in alignment with them. If you are a Born again Christian, the Holy Spirit supposed to be living on the inside of you. You are to seek God’s face, and He will speak to you, and tell you the truth. Depend on God, and not the flesh. Haven’t you been acting just like Satan lately? Some of them are talking out both side of their mouths-so double-mindness. Where is the Love America? I am praying for a better day, on this Lord’s Day! We don’t need our enemies to attack us, or wait for our enemies to attack us, we do a good job of it ourselves. Some of these Ministers are so quick to tell you, when their Congregation is built up, if you don’t like what I say “to leave.” Satan is real, and he comes to steal, kill and destroy. Many Ministers needs to check themselves that they have not open up the door for Satan to come in, as members, and myself. Satan will use whosoever! What are you yielding to? Who are you yielding to? Have you open up the door for hate, racism, and division to come in? Do you think your stature in the community is going to save you?

  5. Gambia is a wonderful country I had the fortune to visit there in 1998 and will always have a fondness not just for the country but for the people that are the country.

    My father was from the Gambia but lived most of his life in England where I was born until he died.
    When I there I was privileged enough to have a guide in the shape of my cousin the late treasurer general Abu Denton, so I got to see the real Gambia.

    Since living in the States the Gambia is even further away but I vow I shall return once again to this inspirational and beautiful Jewell in the crown of Africa

    The Tropical Chippy

    Leave a Reply

  6. I had the priveledge of meeting the great Alex Haley in South Africa. He inspired me. Today, many years later, I have founded a publishing company called African Perspectives in Johannesburg, South Africa.I consider myself blessed by making his acquintance.

  7. I had the priveldge of meeting Alex Haley when he visited South Africa. He inspired me. Today, many many years later, I have a publishing company called African Perspectives Publishing. Looking back, I can say that his book Roots, had a profound effect on my Life.I am blessed by this experience and will remain forever grateful for this son of the soil.

  8. Nice site. I got massive good data. I’ve been watching this stuff for a while. It’s fascinating how it keeps varying, yet some of the core components stay the same. Have you seen much change since Google made their latest purchase in the field?

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