On August 11, 1921, Alexander Murray Palmer Haley was born in Ithaca, New York. Alex Haley would become one of the best-selling American authors in history.Haley wrote about the struggles and triumphs of the African American experience. He conducted extensive interviews with influential leaders such as Miles Davis and Martin Luther King, Jr. He was also the ghostwriter for the groundbreaking Autobiography of Malcolm X, about the legendary civil rights leader.Haley is most well-known for his monumental novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family, a fictionalized account of his own ancestry. Roots traces Haley’s family from its origins in what is now Gambia; through kidnapping, transport, and enslavement in the United States; the Civil War; Reconstruction; and the establishment of the ancestral Haley family home in Tennessee.Roots was developed into a phenomenally successful television miniseries. It also inspired a passionate interest in genealogy and American history. The novel ends with "the hope that this story of our people can help to alleviate the legacies of the fact that preponderantly the histories have been written by the winners."
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry account Noun
oral or written description of events.
to relieve, unburden, or make easier.
family (genealogical) or historical background.
person who writes.
civil rights Plural Noun
set of fundamental freedoms guaranteed to all individuals, such as participation in the political system, ability to own property, and due process and equal protection under the law.
Civil War Noun
(1860-1865) American conflict between the Union (north) and Confederacy (south).
to transmit, transport, or carry.
to expand or grow.
to totally control.
to form or officially organize.
group of organisms that come from the same ancestors and share similar characteristics. Family is also a classification in chemistry and math.
Encyclopedic Entry: family fictionalize Verb
to make up or turn into imagination.
study of a family's ancestry, origins, and history.
person who writes material attributed to another person.
innovative or pioneering.
important; having the ability to lead the opinions or attitudes of others.
to hold a person hostage, usually for ransom.
famous, heroic, or celebrated.
Malcolm X Noun
(Malcolm Little, 1925-1965) American civil rights leader.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Noun
(1929-1968) American pastor and civil rights leader.
Miles Davis Noun
(1926-1991) American jazz trumpeter and composer.
very large, serious, and important.
fictional narrative or story.
prevailing, or greater in force or influence.
(1865-1877) period during which the states formerly belonging to the Confederate States of America were transformed and integrated back into the United States following the Civil War.
to move material from one place to another.