Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Roots by Alex Haley

Front and Back Flaps: When he was a boy in Henning, Tennessee, Alex Haley's grandmother used to tell him stories about their family- stories that went back to her grandparents, and their grandparents, down through the generations all the way to a man she called "the African." She said he had lived across the ocean near what he called the "Kamby Bolongo" and had been out in the forest chopping wood to make a drum when he was set upon by four men, beaten, chained and dragged aboard a slave ship bound for Colonial America. Still vividly remembering the stories after he grew up and became a writer, Haley began to search for documentation that might authenticate the narrative. It took ten years and a half of a million miles of travel across three countries to find it, but finally, in an astonishing feat of genealogical detective work, he discovered not only the name of "the African"- Kunta Kinte- but the precise location of Juffure, the very village in The Gambia, West Africa, from which he was abducted in 1767 at the age of sixteen and taken on the Lord Ligonier to Maryland and sold to a Virginia planter. Haley has talked in Juffure with his own African sixth cousins. On September 29, 1967, he stood on the dock in Annapolis where his great-great-great-great-grandfather was taken ashore on September 29, 1767. Now he has written the monumental twp-century drama of Kunta Kinte and the six generations who came after him- slaves and freedmen, farmers and blacksmiths, lumber mill workers and Pullman porters, lawyers and architects- and one author. But Haley has done more than recapture the history of his own family. As the first black American writer to trace his origins back to their roots, he has told the story of 25,000,000 American of African descent. He has rediscovered for an entire people a rich cultural heritage that slavery took away from them, along with their names and their identities. But ROOTS soeaks, finally, not just to blacks, or to whites, but to all peoples and all races everywhere, for the story it tells is one of the most eloquent testimonials ever written to the indomitability of the human spirit.

AMAZING. AMAZING. AMAZING. AMAZING. WOW, this was an AMAZING book!!! I read it because my grandma wanted me to, and at first it was alright and I had to get used to the language and all that but after that it was just soooo real and so like wow. Esepcailly the part where Kunta is in the ship going to America and what they describe is so horrible. How they're all chained together and just sit down there under in like the dark and cold and just fester and rot and there's rat and they have to go to the bathroom and throw up just all over the place then live in it! Imagine how that would be omg. And then Kunta getting whipped and his foot cut off. I just really liked how the story just progressed down the family. At first it was Kunda telling the story, then it went to his daughter Kizzy after she got sold to someone else and after that is the last you know of Kunta and then Kizzy never gets married because her "massa" rapes her!! It was horrible that part. And then she only had one son, George, who was named after the master's first nigger. And they say that a lot obviously. And then George gets married to Matilda and they have 8 children!! And then the story is in George's point of view and he fights chickens with the massa and another guy and then after that the story kinda just goes through Tom, one of the sons who marries Irene. After that it's not really in anyone's point of view. But it was also crazy to read about all the history going on during that time and then they finally became free and just started their own village and everything. It was such an amazing book, I don't even know what else to say, but I can't believe they traced it all the way back to him! Just goes to show you how if you keep telling your children something and they pass it on it goes on for a long time and lots of generations! It would be so awesome to be able to somehow trace back my ancestry took because I know my dad is black and so is his dad and my grandma and my great-grandpa but I don't really know much else, but yes everyone should read that book. It is relaly long basicaly 700 pages but I read it in 8 days! go me haha but it was hard to put down and super good! I def wanna watch the movie now. But yes amazing I know I said it lots of times but it really was!

1 comment:

Thanks for commenting! :]