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Monday, May 30, 2016
ALEX HALEY - Author of ROOTS and Legacy Star Kunta Kinte
(c.1750-c.1822) is a character in the novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family by American author Alex Haley. Haley claimed that 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.
But the major difference between the two miniseries, besides the updated production, is the fact that more information has been discovered about the history behind Roots.
Thanks to the success of the novel and the miniseries in the '70s, more people wanted to research Kunta Kinte's origins, Burton claimed in his interview with Bell. Burton cited that more has been learned about the Mandinka culture, of which Kunta was a part, like that they were horse warriors and Bell pointed out that the new series shows that the Kinte family was Muslim.
Producer Wolper told The New York Times that while Kunta's home in the village of Juffure in the Gambia of Africa had been portrayed as remote in the original miniseries, history now points to Juffure being a busy commercial trade post. These newly discovered elements of Kunta's origins will be updated for the re-imagined Roots.