The “Roots”: A Brief History of Kunta Kinte & Family.

Enslavery of kunta kinte

The Roots as it was called, a historical background that showcases how Africans trade a fellow Africans to the white-men as slaves. KUNTA KINTE, “The African”, is a character in the 1976 novel roots.

According to the book Roots Kunta Kinte was born in the year 1750 in the Mandinka village of Jufureh, in the Gambia (Africa). He was raised in a Muslim family. In 1767, while Kunta was searching for wood to make a drum for his younger brother, four men chased him, surrounded him, and took him captive.

Kunta awoke to find himself blindfolded, gagged, bound as a prisoner. He and others were put on the slave ship the Lord Ligonier for a four-month trip on sea Middle Passage voyage to North America.

Recall, He was born in 1750, enslaved and taken to America where served white-men for years. He was a member of the highly respected Kinte clan of the Mandinka people of Gambia. A warrior who was educated, clever, skilled, strong, resilient and proud. He was a young man of immense courage that empower him when he was forcefully captured by slavers.

Kunta Kinte’s life story also factorized in two US-made television series based on the book:

the original 1977 TV miniseries Roots,  and a 2016 re-make of the same name. In the original miniseries, the character was portrayed as a teenager by LeVar Burton and as an adult by John Amos.

In the 2016 miniseries, he is portrayed by Malachi Kirby. Burton reprised his role in the TV movie Roots: The Gift, a fictional tale originally broadcast during the 1988 Christmas season.

Kunta never accepted the name and the kind of religion given to him by his slave master and never gave up on his dream of returning to his homeland as he challenged other enslaved colleagues to fight for their freedom.

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According to Haley, Kunta Kinte was based on one of his ancestors: a Gambian man who was born in 1750, enslaved and taken to America and who died in 1822. Haley said that his account of Kunta’s life in Roots is a mixture of fact and fiction, to an unknown extent.

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