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Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Saga of Roots

Written by my friend Constance Hayden

Although this classic has been around for a number of years the power and majesty it possesses never fades. At the time the writing project was first proposed by the author, Alex Haley, many people scoffed at the idea of a story that tracked an African American's family tree and history. Although Caucasions had been tracing their family lineages for hundreds of years it was felt that because of the issues of slavery and the number of times a slave may have been transferred from one place to another that this challenge would be an impossible one.
The fact of the matter is that thanks to a family tradition that managed to survive that was handed down from the first slave; Koonta Kinte, the challenge was made easier for Alex Haley, the sixth generation descendant of Kinte. Haley traveled to Africa and was even able to find long lost relatives he never knew. Aside from the appreciation of what Haley accomplished, the viewer also finds themselves lost in the storyline as they eagerly watch to see what happens next in this family's struggles. Adding to the mix the wonderful talents of acting greats such as Lorne Greene, Robert Reed, Louis Gossett, Ed Asner, Ralph Waite, Cicely Tyson, Chuck Conners, Carolyn Jones and of course LeVar Burton, you cant help but be drawn into the story when watching on satellite TV in New York.