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Roots By Alex Haley

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Janet Hernandez

on 11 February 2015

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Transcript of Roots By Alex Haley

Roots: The Saga of an American Family
By: Dilpreet Singh, Michael O'Neil, Janet Hernandez, Crystal Crosby, Ariel Lin, Zana Mrkulic, Israt Motaleb

Kairaba Kunta Kinte
Yaisa Kinte
Omoro Kinte
Binta Kebba
Saloum and Janneh Kinte
Lamin Kinte
Suwadu Kinte
Madi Kinte
Bell Waller
Sireng Kinte
Kunta Kinte
Kizzy Waller
Tom Lea
Matilda MacGregor
Tom Murray
Virgil Murray
Lily Su
Uriah Lea
Ashford Murray
George Murray
James Murray
Louis Murray
Kizzy Murray
Mary Murray
Will Palmer
Bertha George Palmer
Simon Alexander Haley
Zeona Hatcher
Lois Haley
Alex Haley
George Haley
Julius Haley
Kunta Kinte Captured at Age 17 (1767)
Kunta decides to go into the forest to chop woods for a drum he has been planning on making.
Lost in his thoughts about the past and future, he does not hear the slave catchers, both black and white, approaching.
They set upon him and, weaponless, and he tries to fight back but is overcome.
They kill his loyal dog and he is finally clubbed over the head and becomes unconscious.
Slavery Life of Kunta Kinte
- Kunta is captive on a slave ship called the Lord Ligioner along with 140 Africans. The voyage takes four months and many slaves die.
- Kunta arrives in America and is sold for $850 to John Waller in Maryland
- Waller renames him Toby. This shows the loss of identity of Kunta
- Kunta attempts to escape several times- all were unsuccessful. He was even shot during one of his attempts.
- On his final attempt to escape, he is arrested by two slave catchers
- Kunta had to choose between castration and foot amputation, he chooses to have his foot amputated
Slavery Life of Kunta Kinte
- Kunta has been sold to William Waller, the brother of his previous owner
- Kunta wakes up in a hut. He is weak and lapses in and out of consciousness while a white doctor and Waller's cook named Bell attend him. His foot is covered in bloody bandages.
- He meets one of the slaves, a brown man named Fiddler. Fiddler and Kunta become friends as Kunta learns English. Kunta is happy after all these years to feel like he is finally getting to know someone.
- The first stirrings of the Revolutionary War come to the plantation. They discuss the whites concern regarding slave revolts.
- Kunta realizes he is 34 years old and has been in America as long as he lived in The Gambia, leading him to question the meaning of his life.
- Kunta and Bell sleep together and decide to get married. Kunta is 39 and Bell is in her early 40s. They marry and move in together.
Slavery Life of Kunta Kinte
- Bell tells Kunta she is pregnant, to his great joy. Their daughter is born in September 1790.
- Kunta takes their baby out under the stars and whispers her name to her, the same as his father did to him. He has named her Kizzy, which means "you sit down" or "you stay put." Master Waller does not disapprove of the name, and she goes down in his plantation record as Kizzy Waller
- Kunta teaches her Mandinka words and African traditions, and passes his African pride and desire for freedom to her
- Kunta is annoyed by Missy Anne's (the niece of Waller) relationship with Kizzy.
- Kizzy breaks the law by aiding the slave she loves, Noah, to escape. He is caught and admits that Kizzy helped him escape.
- Kunta and Bell beg with Master Waller not to sell her but he is deaf to their cries. She is sold to Tom Lea. She screams as the wagon rolls away. In a blind rage of pain, Kunta smashes his age-gourd upon the floor.
-Later dies of grief after Bell is sold away and separated from him
The Birth of Kunta Kinte
- Kunta Kinte was born in 1750, in Gambia, West Africa to Omoro and Binta Kinte.
- His name was chosen after 8 days
- The village was highly religious
- African birthing tradition
- The village was pleased to have a new member of the Mandinka tribe
Early Life of Kunta Kinte (prior to 1767)
Religious Beliefs, Rituals, Lifestyles and Taboos
- The importance of rain on the village
~ Brought fertility to the land
- Annual Harvest Festival
- Kafo groups
- Question of slavery
- The importance of ancestry
- Marriage
- Manhood training
- Kunta is taught the customs and traditions of his tribe to become a Mandinka warior.
- As a child, Kunta is constantly advised to avoid and be fearful of “toubob,” white men who capture African people
- Kunta's first brother
- Lamin's had to take his brother traveling, just as his father had done for him
- Worked so feverishly there was no time to talk
- Traveled in search for gold
- Kunta was the oldest and it was his responsibility to watch out for his siblings; he taught Lamin many things about boyhood.

- Kunta's second brother
-Lamin would teach Suwadu all the things about boyhood to him as Kinte taught Lamin
- Suwadu would then teach Madi the youngest brother
- The Kintango ordered the boys to race, to jump, dance, pray, and wrestle, as they had been taught. The fathers, uncles, and older brothers would watch silently thanking the Kintango and his assistants.
Kairaba Kinte (Kunta Kinte's Grandfather) went to a village called Pakali N'Ding. He stayed there for a while.
He went next to a village called Jiffarong, then to a village called Juffure.
In the village of Juffure, Kunta Kinte took his first wife, a Mandinka (West African) maiden whose name was Sireng as a gift from the King of Barra
Had two sons named Saloum Kinte and Janneh Kinte.

- The youngest son of Binta and Omoro
- Kunta's Third brother
- Kunta is surprised when one of the Kintango assistant
says to him "You have a new brother, and he is named Madi"(129).

Born on September 12, 1790
Only child of Kunta Kinte
Kunta passes his African pride and desire for freedom to her
Learns how to read and write from Miss Anne, the master’s niece
She is sold from her parents at the age of 16
Kizzy is raped by Tom Lea, her new owner, and gives birth to George
She refers to George as a descendant of "The African," not as the biological son of Tom Lea
Kizzy preserves Kunta's dreams through her son George.
George Lea
Is referred to as "Chicken George" for his lively personality and expertise in cockfighting
Initially he doesn't think of freedom but after Tom Lea threatens George's family with a shotgun, George tries to think of a way to free his family and himself
When his father lost a bet in a cockfight to Sir Eric Russell, George is sent to England to owe his master's debts
He is the first of Kunta's descendants to become a freedman after returning to his father/master 14 years later to obtain his legal freedom paper (emancipation paper)
Reunited with his family after the Civil War and slavery ended
settled with his family at Tennessee where he died in 1890
George Lea was greatly influenced by his mother's chatter about his grandfather Kunta Kinte
Great Grandson of Kunta Kinte
born as a slave on Master Tom's plantation
was a blacksmith when he was sold along with his family to Master Murray
married a half-Indian slave girl named Irene
Tom strongly follows the traditions passed down through his family
Shows his belief of the importance of racial purity by not allowing his daughter, Elizabeth, to marry John Tolan, mix of white and black
Great-Great Grand-daughter of Kunta Kinte.
Known for her porch talks with the female side of her family. These talks started after her husband's passing, during the summers in Henning, Tennessee.
The topic of discussion is their family's heritage.
Cynthia wants to keep the oral tradition of passing down the family history.
Cynthia learns the importance the family history and oral tradition from her father, Tom Murray. The author, Alex Haley, recalls the summers he and his brothers spent at Cynthia’s house when they would listen to the “graying ladies,” including Cynthia, tell stories regarding their African heritage
Great-Great-Great-Great Grandson of Kunta Kinte.
Born August 11, 1921, Haley spent 20 years as a United States Coast Guard and became a journalist upon retirement
Haley's first book published was
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
in 1965
In 1976, Haley published
Haley spent more than a decade and traveled thousands of miles researching his family history
was a tremendous success and Haley won a special Pulitzer Prize for his work in 1977
Roots was also adapted as a television miniseries that reached 130 million viewers! (2nd Most All Time)
Haley died in Seattle, Washington, on February 10, 1992.
Kunta Kinte's wife
Born in 1747 as a slave
The cook of slave owner William Waller
During their initial meeting, Bell mocks his African heritage in order to provoke him into getting up after he lost his foot
Has no relations to her African heritage - she doesn't understand Kunta's insistence on his African ways
When Bell was younger she had two daughters who were sold and separated from her
Has one child named Kizzy with Kunta Kinte
Slave Owner in North Carolina that buys Kizzy from Master Waller
Very soon after buying her, he rapes Kizzy in a drunken state
Kizzy becomes pregnant and gives birth to George
As George grows up, Tom becomes fond of the boy
Tom participates in cockfights, with his gamecockers (fighter chickens) being trained over by a man named Uncle Mingo
Master Lea promises George that he would give his freedom once George returns from England
wife of George Lea
-Professor and husband of Bertha
-Father of Alex Haley

-She is one of Cynthia's Children
-The mother of Alex Haley
- Bertha displays little interest in the family narrative told by her mother Cynthia. Once she goes away to college, she meets and marries Simon Alexander Haley. They have a child after Betha graduates from Cornell.

-The mother of Kunta Kinte and Saloum, Lamin, and Madi
-The father of Kunta Kinte and Saloum, Lamin, and Madi

The grandfather of Kunta Kinte
Followed a family tradition of holy men
Pilgrimaged from village to village under Allah in Old Mali
Saved the village of Juffure from sickness and lack of rain
Prayed for five days straight until Allah sent big rain
Kunta Kinte was named after him
The second wife of Kairaba Kunta Kinte
Was dancing the seoruba at the age of 15 when he fell in love with her
Gave birth to Omoro Kinte (Kunta Kinte's Father)
Kunta Kinte's Grandmother
- Children of Sireng Kinte and Kairabi Kinte
- Legendary Travelers
- They both went away and created a village together
- The new village created by Janneh and Saloum
was named after Janneh Kinte.
- The village called Kinte-Kundah Janneh-Ya. The village is still here today. It means "the home of Janneh Kinte".
child of Chicken George Lea and Matilda MacGregor
wife of Virgil Murray
child of Virgil Lea and Lily Su
In spring of 1750, Kunta Kinte is born in Juffure, Gambia to Omoro Kinte and Binte.
Kunta is born to esteemed Kinte family wher he is taught the traditions of a Mandinka warrior.
Kunta learnes to stay away from the "toubob", or white slave capturers.
Despite what he is taught, Kunta is captured by the toubob in 1767 while searching for supplies.
Kunta is then shipped on the
Lord Ligonier
with other captives.
As a survivor of the trip, Kunta knows what he is going to face on the other side of the ocean.

In Annapolis, Maryland, Kunta is sold to John Waller and renamed "Toby."
Kunta attempts to escape four times, but never finds success.
As a punishment for his attempts to escape, he has his foot cut off.
John Waller's brother, William, buys Kunta after seeing how badly Kunta has been treated.
On William Waller's land, Kunta meets Bell, William's cook and Kunta's future wife.
After they marry, they give birth to a daughter named Kizzy, Kizzy translating "you stay put."
child of Chicken George Lea and Matilda MacGregor
child of Chicken George Lea and Matilda MacGregor
wife of Tom Murray

As George grows up, he displays traits of both of his parents.
From his father, he becomes a skilled trainer of gamecocks, earning him the nickname, “Chicken George.”
From his mother, he gains the wanting to be free.
George desires to buy himself and his family to freedom.
Years later, George earns his freedom and reunites his family, telling them of the family’s history.
mother of 8 children
mother of 7 Children
After the civil war, the family moves to Henning, Tennessee.
Led by Chicken George’s son, Tom Murray, the family begins to understand the importance of the family history, as shown through his daughter, Cynthia.
However, Cynthia’s daughter Bertha finds little interest in the family history. Bertha goes away to college and marries Simon Alexander Haley.
Bertha and Simon have a son, who is the author of this book, named Alex Haley.
From here, Alex Haley researches his family’s history and publishes this book.
child of Chicken George Lea and Matilda MacGregor
child of Chicken George Lea and Matilda MacGregor
child of Chicken George Lea and Matilda MacGregor
child of Chicken George Lea and Matilda MacGregor
Kunta dreams of finding freedom and keeping alive his African culture, which he passes down to Kizzy.
Kizzy falls in love with her African culture and is interested in the family history.
However she is sold to Tom Lea as a a punishment for helping another slave escape.
Lea rapes Kizzy for several months, leading to the birth of their son, Georg.
Kizzy passes Kunta’s beliefs and dreams down to George.
husband of Cynthia
child of Tom Murray and Irene
child of Tom Murray and Irene
child of Tom Murray and Irene
child of Tom Murray and Irene
child of Tom Murray and Irene
child of Tom Murray and Irene
second wife of Simon Alexander Haley
child of Simon Alexander Haley and Zeona Hatcher
child of Simon Alexander Haley and Bertha George Palmer
child of Simon Alexander Haley and Bertha George Palmer
Full transcript