The Saga of An American Family

Audiobook CD - 2007
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It begins with a birth in an African village in 1750, and ends two centuries later at a funeral in Arkansas. And in that time span, an unforgettable cast of men, women, and children come to life, many of them based on the people from Alex Haley's own family tree.When Alex was a boy growing up in Tennessee, his grandmother used to tell him stories about their family, stories that went way back to a man she called "the African" who was taken aboard a slave ship bound for Colonial America. As an adult, Alex spent twelve years searching for documentation that might authenticate what his grandmother had told him. In an astonishing feat of genealogical detective work, he discovered the name of "the African"--Kunta Kinte--as well as the exact location of the village in West Africa from where he was abducted in 1767. Roots is based on the facts of his ancestry, and the six generations of people--slaves and freemen, farmers and lawyers, an architect, a teacher--and one acclaimed author--who descended from Kunta Kinte.
Publisher: North Kingstown : BBC Audiobooks America/Sound library, c2007
ISBN: 9781602831971
Branch Call Number: CD 929.2 Hal


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Jul 14, 2017

A young 17 year old was taken from his home in Africa to be shipped & bought as a slave in America. Before this terrible event, the author describes Kunta Kinte's life in Africa: his family, his friends, his home, his traditions. Then happened the fateful event that would take him away from all of these things for the rest of his life. Kunta miraculously survived the boat ride to America & his 4 failed attempts at escaping slavery. Sadly, he started weighing his options & determined that the safer option was to resign himself to the life of slave. The remainder of the book is played out in the southern United States, following the lives of Kunta, his wife Bell, their only daughter Kizzy, & generation after generation of descendants in their time of slavery & eventually their lives as free men & women after the Civil War.

I'll admit that it took me a few chapters to really get sucked into the story as the author was describing the very youngest years of Kunta Kinte. But as his later life, especially his experience with the tradition of becoming a man, things started to pick up. And from the time of his arrival in the US, it then became personal in that it was the story of our history of Americans. History is not often the pretty picture we like to paint for ourselves. The results of historical events may have brought us closer to a point of happiness or goodness, but the road that lead us there was fraught with tears, death, abuse, neglect, loneliness, & injustice. "Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it." ~ George Santayana ~ In my opinion, this book should be a mandatory read by every high school student. I thoroughly enjoyed every word of this story, the author's family story.

Age recommendation: 14 & above (vivid descriptions of slavery)

On a scale of 1-10 stars, I give it 10!


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Jul 14, 2017

jandt_mcmurray thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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FavouriteFiction Oct 14, 2009

A man's traces his family's roots from Africa into slavery.


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