A quote from the 30th Anniversary Edition of Roots:
“ Alex Haley’s Roots is the monumental two-century drama of Kunta Kinte and the six generations who came after him. By tracing back his roots, Alex Haley tells the story of 39 million Americans of African descent. He has rediscovered for an entire people a rich cultural heritage that ultimately speaks to all races everywhere, for the story it tells is one of the most eloquent testimonials ever written to the indomitability of the human spirit.”
I was a fresh PhD from Ohio State University when Alex and I began to work together on Roots. At that time he had finally finished the first third of the copy to include the Middle Passage.
The hero Kunta Kinte had arrived in Annapolis, Maryland when Alex and I began taking shifts to produce this work. He liked to write from around noon or 3 PM til’ dawn. I liked to work from dawn to early evening. That way, we kept a diligent 24-hour schedule that culminated 18 months later in the finished manuscript. Being an integral apart of this great writing experience still stuns me.
It was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life. The things I learned from Alex Haley, the writer, I use to this very day. Much of what I learned from him I used in writing my first published book so many years later, The Treason of Mary Louvestre.
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