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Alex Haley

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February 13, 1992
For the generation that came of age during the 1970s, Alex Haley's monumental "Roots: The Saga of an American Family" was in many ways a revelation. White Americans saw for perhaps the first time an accounting of the travails of black Americans they could identify with in an intensely personal way. For black Americans, the story of Kunte Kinte and his descendants was both a celebration of their capacity for endurance and absolution of the lingering stigma...
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NEWS
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | September 22, 2013
The annual Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival will not go on as scheduled this month after organizers said they could not raise enough money to hold it. The Annapolis festival has celebrated African-American history and honored the legacy of slave Kunta Kinte since 1987. It usually features musical performances, food, arts and crafts, African dance and drumming and storytelling. Organizers announced on the festival's website that they had not been able to raise enough money to hold the event this year, but that they still planned on holding it next year.
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NEWS
By GARLAND L. THOMPSON and GARLAND L. THOMPSON,Garland L. Thompson writes editorials for The Sun | February 15, 1992
This is the month when America dusts off old records of black heroes and offers them a Valentine. People like inventor Granville Woods, emancipator Harriet Tubman and Lewis Latimer, the draftsman-turned-engineer whose contributions were crucial to the success of Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison.Benjamin Banneker, Ben Franklin's Maryland contemporary who challenged Thomas Jefferson over ''all men'' being held equal under God and law, and Frederick Douglass, fabled voice of the Great Emancipation, once again emerge from the obscurity this culture reserves for blacks whose lives don't square with its images.
NEWS
By Jonathan Pitts, The Baltimore Sun | September 16, 2011
When she was a child growing up in Lothian, Lyndra Pratt loved spending time with her grandmother, Margaret Ann Easton, at Easton's nearby farm. Naturally, Pratt was curious about this woman she loved so dearly. What, she wondered, had her grandma's life been like? How had she become the way she was? "Who are your parents?" Pratt asked one day when she was 8. "Where did they come from?" Easton burst into tears. That was 48 years ago, long before Pratt, now Lyndra Pratt Marshall, realized black Americans of her grandmother's time rarely wanted to discuss their lineage.
NEWS
By JoAnna Daemmrich and JoAnna Daemmrich,Staff Writer | April 26, 1993
Seven months have passed since William Alex Haley walked to the Annapolis City Dock to see the spot where friends and fans of his late father want to build a memorial statue.But there's still no sign of their planned tribute. Now black community leaders are asking the city to help kick-start their drive to honor Alex Haley, author of "Roots," the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and television mini-series.Leonard Blackshear, chairman of the annual Kunta Kinte Commemoration and Heritage Festival in Annapolis, and several other community leaders plan to request that the City Council earmark $100,000 for the project tonight.
NEWS
By JoAnna Daemmrich and JoAnna Daemmrich,Staff Writer | September 16, 1992
In a spirited tribute to Alex Haley, the Annapolis City Council endorsed honoring the late author with a life-size statue at City Dock, where the saga of "Roots" began.Council members emphasized their support Monday night by promising to chip in $75,000 to continue the legacy of Mr. Haley, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning novel on his family history was translated around the world and became a highly acclaimed television mini-series. Mr. Haley, who also wrote "The Autobiography of Malcolm X," died in February.
NEWS
By Los Angeles Times | February 11, 1992
Alex Haley, whose epochal pursuit of his roots brought the black experience into the hearts of hundreds of millions, died early yesterday in a Seattle hospital. He was 70.The Pulitzer Prize-winning author's novel, "Roots: The Saga of an American Family," produced a swelling of pride in blacks and a televised miniseries based on the book attracted millions of viewers.A spokeswoman for Swedish Hospital said the onetime Coast Guard cook was admitted to the emergency room late Sunday night and died shortly after midnight.
FEATURES
By Darryl E. Owens and Darryl E. Owens,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 21, 2002
After two years of dogged research, Emily Tilley could only shake her head and the fading papers in her hands as though she expected to shake free the necessary clue to propel her search. Nothing fell to earth. It was 1988, and the Baltimore woman ran her fingers through the duplicate manifests, marriage licenses and court records she'd collected in binders over the years. Then she turned to confront the musty records that mocked her from the table inside the Eastern Shore Room of the Eastern Shore Public Library in Accomac, Va. Praying to pry loose something she had missed, she re-examined the evidence: Census records.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Television Critic | February 14, 1993
Queen" is being promoted by CBS as the biggest TV event of February sweeps.It has the potential to be that and more.Just as "Gone with the Wind" told the story of white Southerners before, during and after the Civil War, "Queen" chronicles part of the African-American experience during those years; and just as Vivien Leigh became a household name as Scarlett O'Hara in 1939, the same will probably happen to Halle Berry this week as Queen.It's the kind of television people talk about. And that talk is likely to include debate about white producers packaging the African-American experience as prime-time melodrama and selling it to viewers as history.
NEWS
By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF | December 9, 1999
Phebe Jacobsen happened to be on duty the spring morning 32 years ago when Alex Haley walked into the Maryland Hall of Records in Annapolis, lugging suitcases stuffed with yellowed photographs and documents.Haley, whom the state archivist didn't know at the time, sat down, opened the suitcases and, in his deep, resonant voice, began telling the epic tale of his long search for his roots.His enslaved ancestor had been the son of important people, he said, kidnapped by slave traders in Gambia and shipped to Annapolis City Dock in 1767.
NEWS
By MARY JOHNSON and MARY JOHNSON,Special to The Sun | July 27, 2007
Dignity Players continues its tradition of tackling difficult issues with a drama that examines contemporary racism and the meaning of art and questions the final dictates of an eccentric art collector. Thomas Gibbons' Permanent Collection, which opens Aug. 3 at an Annapolis church, is loosely based on the controversy at the Barnes Foundation located near Philadelphia, where Albert Barnes grouped his art collection according to his preferences placing a painting beside an African sculpture that inspired the artist.
NEWS
By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,SUN REPORTER | June 3, 2007
Chris Haley's family tree has extra-strong Roots. In the Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same title, his uncle Alex Haley traced the family history back to an African slave named Kunta Kinte -- and spawned a legend. The book later became a television mini-series (which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year) and one of the defining cultural events of the 1970s. Chris Haley has embraced his legacy -- he works for the Maryland State Archives and is a longtime trustee of the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation, which this year will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Kunta-Kinte Heritage Festival.
FEATURES
By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,Sun reporter | April 12, 2007
Even 30 years later, the memories barely have dimmed. Chris Haley was a teenager in 1977 when he visited the set of the epic miniseries Roots. But he still can see the African-style huts hunkering down beneath the hot Georgia sun. He can hear the long, dry grasses rustle like crickets. And he still feels sweat pooling beneath his shirt, near his heart. That's when he knew that his Uncle Alex was about to accomplish something big. On TV Episode 5 of Roots will air on TVOne at 8 p.m. today; episode 6 airs at 8 p.m. Sunday.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Movie Critic | October 27, 2006
Howard E. Rollins Jr., a Baltimore-born actor whose achievements included a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for 1981's Ragtime, will be joining the lineup at the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum next week. Rollins' early credits included the soap opera All My Children and a pair of influential TV miniseries: Roots: The Next Generation (playing George Haley, the brother of Roots author Alex Haley) and King, a dramatization of the life of Martin Luther King Jr., in which he played Andrew Young.
NEWS
By Jamie Stiehm and Jamie Stiehm,SUN REPORTER | September 29, 2006
Throwing a party while mourning the host is the challenge faced this weekend by the friends and family of Leonard A. Blackshear, founder of the Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival. Blackshear, who also founded the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation, died in March at age 62 of cancer. Tonight, the city of Annapolis will dedicate the story wall at the memorial to Kinte and Alex Haley at City Dock, monuments that Blackshear made a reality. The next morning, the 19th festival will open at the Anne Arundel County fairgrounds in Crownsville.
FEATURES
By LIZ ATWOOD and LIZ ATWOOD,SUN REPORTER | June 3, 2006
It's been 30 years since Alex Haley wrote Roots, the story of his search for his family's history that inspired a generation of Americans to research their own genealogy. According to the National Genealogical Society, more than 60 percent of Americans are interested in learning about their ancestry. Agnes Callum, a local historian and genealogist, believes she knows why: "I think they are looking for themselves." Callum began the search for her own family history five years before Alex Haley's book was published, when as a student at Morgan State University, she was assigned to write a paper on St. Mary's County.
FEATURES
By JoAnna Daemmrich and JoAnna Daemmrich,Staff Writer | September 24, 1992
Like his father before him, William Alex Haley stood on the Annapolis City Dock yesterday, stared out across the sparkling water, and fell silent.He had just spent the morning talking about cultural diversity, family values and the legacy of "Roots," the Pulitzer Prize-winning book that his father, Alex Haley, spent 12 years researching.Now he was standing at the foot of the harbor near the spot where his father had come on a pilgrimage and wept one September day 25 years ago. It's here that Kunta Kinte was led ashore in chains on Sept.
NEWS
By JAMIE STIEHM and JAMIE STIEHM,SUN REPORTER | March 31, 2006
When Annapolis Mayor Ellen O. Moyer passes by the Alex Haley statue and memorial wall along Annapolis' waterfront, she thinks of Leonard A. Blackshear. "This is indeed Leonard's walk and Leonard's wall," she said this week of Blackshear, who died of cancer March 24. Haley wrote the best-seller Roots about his ancestor Kunta Kinte, who is believed to have arrived as a slave at Annapolis' City Dock in 1767. For Blackshear, a telecommunications business owner who founded the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation, roots were a favorite metaphor for making the past seem present and real, here and now. "Roots provide an anchor in a world moving so fast," Blackshear said in an interview last year at a children's genealogy summer camp.
NEWS
By Jason Song and Julie Bykowicz and Jason Song and Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF | October 10, 2003
Annapolis' historic Market House opened its doors yesterday for the first time since last month's Tropical Storm Isabel set the food shanty's cheese and ice cream afloat in a 7-foot slush of Severn River surge. "I don't know who's more excited about our opening, our customers or us," said an ebullient Judy Schwartzberg, co-owner of The Big Cheese and Sammy's Downtown Deli. Yesterday, the first day of this weekend's popular sailboat show, was the city's self-imposed deadline for drying out after Isabel's surge left much of the City Dock area - including a life-size bronze statue of author Alex Haley - temporarily underwater.
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