Alex Haley Legacy Roundtable Discussion to Take Place Friday
An inaugural Alex Haley Legacy Roundtable Discussion about the late author’s literary work and legacy will be held on Friday, September 24th, 2021, from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m., at Calvary United Methodist Church, located on 301 Rowe Boulevard in Annapolis, Maryland. The public is invited to hear members of Haley’s family and friends share lesser-known personal stories, during an intimate conversation. The evening will commence with a reception and meet-and-greet in Calvary Church’s Fellowship Hall from 6:30 – 7:15 p.m. A roundtable conversation is scheduled to be held from 7:30 – 9 p.m. inside of the church’s sanctuary.
The panel will be moderated by prominent Annapolis public figure, Carl Snowden, just a day ahead of the 31st Annual Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival at Susan Campbell Park, located at Annapolis’ City Dock, beginning at 10 a.m. Although the Alex Haley Legacy Roundtable Discussion was inspired by the author’s 100th birthday on August 11, 2021—and it is a part of pop-up events hosted by Haley’s family throughout the year— the festival is also known for its connection to the late author’s ancestor, Kunta Kinte.
In conjunction, the roundtable will connect Haley’s lineage and creative process with his enslaved ancestor from Africa who arrived in Annapolis on the Lord Ligonier in 1767. The first Ambassador from The Gambia to the United States, Ousman Sallah; Alex Haley’s grandson, Bill Haley; nephew and Annapolis’ own Chris Haley, writer and archivist; will participate in the roundtable discussion. Additionally, Malick L. Manga— the son of Ebou Manga, who served as the chief Gambian technical advisor for the book and mini-series “Roots” and “Roots: The Next Generations,” and became a close lifelong friend of Alex Haley—will add insight about behind-the-scenes steps Haley took to craft a literary masterpiece.
“When I reflect upon the magnitude of “Roots,” and how the story of Kunta Kinte’s shackled journey to Annapolis from his home in The Gambia changed the way millions of African Americans viewed their ancestral history and culture – I’m reminded how my father said “It’s unbelievable isn’t it…How his tragedy turned into a blessing?”
To learn more about Alex Haley’s family, and future events, please visit Facebook.com/alexhaleyfamily.
About Alex Haley
After serving 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, Haley became a contributor to well-known magazines, while providing high-profile interviews of icons such as Malcolm X. His career included co-writing “The “Autobiography of Malcolm X” and writing “Roots: The Saga of an American Family.” Haley’s research leading up to the publication of “Roots” revealed that he was a seventh generation descendent of a Gambian who is known as Kunta Kinte. Haley’s enslaved ancestor was sold near Annapolis’ City Dock where Haley’s memorial can now be found. Although Haley died in 1992, members of his family aspire to continue raising awareness about the importance and appreciation of African American and worldwide genealogical heritage.