I am currently reading this book. In this book Alex Haley traces back his ancestry through six generations as slaves, freedmen, farmers and blacksmith, lawyers and architects . Back in Africa he discovered 16 year old young boy named Kunta Kinte. It was this young man, who was taken away from his homeland and brought to the slave markets of New World, who held the key to Haley’s deep and distant past.
This book won Alex Haley a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.
This book opens ones eyes to the horrors of slavery and how each generation struggled to survive. It gives us an insight to the tribal life of Africa and how each member of the tribe was assigned duties in an organised way. This book helps us to understand that each and every race needs to be respected.
Much time and energy has been spent accusing Haley of plagiarizing various aspects of Roots. Personally, I think that to dwell on this criticism is to totally miss the significance of the novel, which told for the first time a story that had remained largely unknown to white audiences in America and Britain. Whether fact, fiction or “faction”, Roots opened the eyes of western audiences to the oppression of their black brothers and sisters, and encouraged second and third-generation immigrants to take pride in, and ownership of, their cultural heritage. As an Indian I always fail to understand that were and are racially discriminated by the Europeans ( the white race) and still certain sections of our society is still so racist. It really is disturbing to see racism.