Roots: The Saga Of An American Family

1344 Words 6 Pages
Roots: The Saga of an American Family is a unique novel which explains in vivid detail the life of slaves in America. The novel begins in the Mandinka village of Juffure where Kunta Kinte is born in the spring of 1750. His parents of Omoro and Binta Kinte. This Gambian village is prominently Muslim, and there are many of the Muslim’s traditions in place. For example, Kunta’s father takes place in a seven day naming ceremony to name Kunta. Other examples may include the village’s praying habits and the harvest festivals. Juffure is a hard-working farm village. Juffure usually lives harvest to harvest with occasional times of famine in between. The children of the village are divided into groups called kafos by five year increments. Kunta begins …show more content…
After a few weeks, Kunta starts to walk with crutches. He observes that this farm is better than the first one. Kunta cannot understand why all of the slaves were never trying to run away like Kunta had. Kunta meets a brown man named Fiddler, and Fiddler helps to teach Kunta English. Kunta learns from Luther, the buggy driver, that the master’s name was William Waller. Master Waller was very good for treating his slaves well. Master Waller bought Kunta from his brother, John, because he was enraged over John’s slave hunters cutting half of his foot …show more content…
Most of the family is married with children by the time George comes home from England. George comes home to find his mother dead, and he also frees himself. George is substantially happy to see his family again. He is urged by his family to head north because if a free black man stays in their state for sixty days he is re-enslaved again. So, George goes to the north, but he promises to return to his family.
The Civil War is very beneficial to this family. Master Murray hires an overseer during this time named George Johnson. After the war is over, the free Murray family arrives in Lauderdale County, Tennessee. Many years pass, and Tom starts a new blacksmith business from his wagon. Tom’s daughter Cynthia is the first of the family to go to college. She met Simon Alexander Haley and married him after World War I. They move to Ithaca, New York, and in 1921 come home with a baby. This baby is the author of Roots, Alex Haley.
The last few chapters of the book are Haley writing about his life. He was a journalist and in the Coast Guard for twenty years. He decided to research where is own ancestor Kunta Kinte came from. He located his ancestry and connected with some of his relatives in The Gambia. The book ends with the funeral of the author’s father’s funeral. Haley is also listed in this book as the seventh-generation descendant of Kunta Kinte, he who came to America unwillingly on a slave ship in the

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