Alex Haley’s Roots

by Johnathan Storlie, PhD

alex-haley-rootsMany of us in Giants of the Earth Heritage Center remember watching the series Roots, when it first aired on television in 1977. It had a profound impact on all of us.

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I was seven and I can still watch many of the scenes in my head even though I haven’t watched the show since 1977. This series first awakened me to the role that the personal and family narrative plays in the development of an individual’s sense of identity and greater purpose.

“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage – to know who we are and where we came from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness.” — Alex Haley, Roots

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