Alex Haley taught himself to write during a twenty-year stint in the US Coast Guard. He became its first Chief Journalist, a position he held until he retired in 1959 to become a magazine writer and interviewer. His first book was The Autobiography of Malcolm X, after which he spent twelve years researching and writing Roots, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
Alex Haley died in Seattle, Washington in 1992.
Now a major BBC drama starring Forest Whitaker, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Laurence Fishburne
Tracing his ancestry through six generations – slaves and freedmen, farmers and blacksmiths, lawyers and architects – back to Africa, Alex Haley discovered a sixteen-year-old youth, Kunta Kinte. It was this young man, who had been torn from his homeland and in torment and anguish brought to the slave markets of the New World, who held the key to Haley's deep and distant past.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award
Haley succeeds beautifully where many have failed... The book is an act of love, and it is this which makes it hauntingA gripping mixture of urban confessional and political manifesto, it not only inspired a generation of black activists, but drove home the bitter realities of racism to a mainstream white liberal audienceGroundbreakingA Pulitzer Prize-winning story about the family ancestry of author Alex Haley... [and] a symbolic chronicle of the odyssey of African Americans from the continent of Africa to a land not of their choosing