Alex Haley's Queen: The Story of an American Family

Shirley, David. Alex Haley. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1994.

Even Alex Haley’s close friend, Professor Henry Louis Gates (who hosted TV’s ), acknowledged this:

Roots: The Saga of an American Family

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  • “Early in the spring of 1750, in the village of Juffure, four days upriver from the coast of The Gambia, West Africa, a man-child was born to Omoro and Binta Kinte.”

    So begins , one of the most extraordinary and influential books of our time. Through the story of one family—his family—Alex Haley unforgettably brings to life the monumental two-century drama of Kunta Kinte and the six generations who came after him: slaves and freedmen, farmers and blacksmiths, lumber mill workmen and Pullman porters, lawyers and architects . . . and one author.

    It is fitting that Alex Haley died during African American History Month. He was so spiritual, I have to believe he would have wanted it that way. But, far beyond most men, Alex stands tall—and not only as an indelible icon within his race. In his life and now in his death, Alex's consummate work, Roots, mirrors the poet's dictum:

  • Roots aside, all who really knew Alex Haley remember him most for his simplicity, his total altruism, his self-effacing humility and his keen sense of humor. No one should set out to try to do what he did, but there are a few things we can all do that would personify the qualities of the Alex Haley whose life I shared personally for some fleeting and precious moments. If all Americans could be as loving, and as giving, and as gentle to each other as Alex Haley was, then the Roots he gave us will not have been in vain. Thanks, Brother Alex Haley, and I know that God rests your beautiful soul. ~ Bill Turner.

    January 16, 2002 -- ON Friday, NBC will air a special commemorating the 25th anniversary of the landmark miniseries based on Alex Haley's book "Roots." Ironically, the original series aired on ABC - but officials at that network took a pass on broadcasting the tribute.

    What's truly amazing, however, is that "Roots" is receiving a reverential tribute at all. For while the miniseries was a remarkable - and important - piece of television,
    the book on which it was based has now been widely exposed as a historical

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    The Special Collections Department of the (AARLCC) is home to a portion of the Alex Haley Paper Collection. The Collection was acquired in September 2001 by then library director Samuel Morrison.

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Roots - Alex Haley - The author, an African-American, traces his own family's roots and creates a groundbreaking, multi-generational historical novel beginning with Kunte Kinte who was kidnapped in Africa as a young boy and brought to the United States as a slave.