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Alex Haley Personal Video Interviews
Alex Haley Personal Video Interviews
The family is the building block of society, and every time a family meets, that particular building block is solidified. Reunions do magical things within the family itself; they do equally magical things within the component of society of which that family is a part. It is exciting no end to think what worldwide family reunions might, in fact, contribute toward worldwide peace. There is no active world war which could conceivably be so exciting as an active world peace. Excerpted from Family: A Humanizing Force by Alex Haley.



Alex Haley Speaks With James Earl Jones And Steve Miller
Alex Haley On Black Omnibus (1972)
Alex Haley With Steve Miller (1983)
In this video James Earl Jones (who later portrayed Alex Haley in Roots: The Next Generations) speaks with Alex Haley who is talking about a book he hopes to finish writing soon called, Roots. Notice how James Earl Jones mentions the title of the book as Roots: The Saga of Black People. Black Omnibus was taped in 1972 and aired for one season in 1973. In 1983, Alex Haley spoke with Steve Miller, host of A New Generation, about his book Roots and its Television mini-series that inspired the world. Haley begins by mentioning Appalachian—a novel set in the Appalachian culture that he had researched extensively centering upon the relationships among a mountain father, son and grandson.


Alex Haley On To Tell The Truth And The Merv Griffin Show
Alex Haley: To Tell The Truth (1972)
Alex Haley With Merv Griffin (1977)
To Tell The Truth is an American TV panel game show created by Bob Stewart. The panel: Tom Poston, Peggy Cass, Gene Rayburn, and Kitty Carlisle have to choose which of the three men claiming to be Alex Haley is the real one. On the show Haley discusses his genealogical investigations that took place four years before Roots was actually published. The Merv Griffin Show debuted in 1965 and ran for 21 years. It began on NBC and after the show was cancelled, Griffin took the show into syndication, where it flourished for years. Alex Haley talks with Merv Griffin and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar about his bestseller Roots, writing, the ghetto, role models and the controversy of being accused of plagiarism.


Alex Haley Interviewed On The WEWS Show Black On Black
Alex Haley On WEWS Part 1 (1976)
Alex Haley On WEWS Part 2 (1976)
Alex Haley was a guest on the WEWS public affairs show, which taped on October 5, 1976, and was hosted by Allen Davis. Alex Haley spoke about his book, Roots: The Saga of An American Family, which was being filmed for an upcoming ABC mini-series. Haley tells of how he came to the realization that the story had to be told from the point of view of the slaves and how he connected to his past generations, in part by sailing on a ship from Monrovia, Liberia to the United States. Haley was quizzed by panelists Vivian Aplin, Dick Peery, Darlene Johnson and John Lenear. Alex Haley could barely let moderator Allen Davis finish before he implored everyone to ask older people to tell their stories. "Sitting down and querying them to tell us what's in their heads, what's in their memories about our families," said Haley. "Many, many of us have people who sit right there and we just never in our pell-mell, technological, push-button world think to go back and ask grandma, ask great aunt, great uncle or grandfather what do they know." Alex Haley suggests a way to keep family history alive is through family reunions and the magic moments they create.


Alex Haley On NBC Today Show And Detroit Black Journal
Haley: 12 Year Process of Writing Roots (1976)
Alex Haley: The Man Behind The Roots (1977)
On September 28, 1976, Alex Haley spoke with Tom Brokaw on the NBC Today Show. Alex Haley, an American author and journalist, has written a book—a remarkable book called Roots. It is the story of his family, his life. In this video, Alex Haley describes the nine years of research he did in fifty-eight libraries on three continents to confirm family stories that were passed down through generations and then the three years it took to write Roots. In this 1977 broadcast, hosted by Ron Scott, Alex Haley discusses the public reaction to Roots and the Malcolm X autobiography. The public's fascination with Roots, he says, was overwhelming. "You spend years in a room with a typewriter, kind of hibernating, writing a book, and all of a sudden you discover that in effect, the world turns upside down. The biggest problem, ultimately, comes down to one of just sheer physical energy and time."


Alex Haley On The Character of Kunta Kinte And On Equatorial Africa
Alex Haley On The Character of Kunta Kinte (1977)
EPCOT Center: The Opening Celebration (1982)
A clip from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Digital Archives where Alex Haley talks about recreating the trip of Kunta Kinte and by doing so it nearly brought him to suicide. Alex Haley speaking about Equatorial Africa with legendary actor-singer-comic Danny Kaye on the television special EPCOT Center: The Opening Celebration that aired on CBS October 23, 1982.

(The above videos are © 1977 CBC / Radio-Canada. All Rights Reserved. © 1982 Walt Disney Productions, LTD. All Rights Reserved.)


Roots: One Year Later & Remembering Roots
Roots: One Year Later (1978)
Remembering Roots (2002)
This documentary, hosted by Louis Gossett Jr., explores the phenomenon of Roots—its impact in capturing the largest audience in television history. It covers Alex Haley's visit to his ancestral village of Juffure in the Gambia, West Africa and looks at plans to extend the story to cover the next 100 years. This behind-the-scenes documentary features footage that was shot at the commentary sessions. David Wolper, Ed Asner, LeVar Burton, Leslie Uggams, Jon Amos, Georg Stanford Brown and other key members of the cast and creative team reflect back on how their lives have been affected by the Roots mini-series.

(The above videos are © 1978 The Wolper Organization, Inc. All Rights Reserved. © 2002 Warner Home Video. All Rights Reserved.)


Alex Haley At Cambridge Public Library And Reader's Digest
Alex Haley Speaking At Cambridge Public Library (1988)
Alex Haley: The Man Who Traced America's Roots (1991)
22-CityView presents Alex Haley speaking at the Cambridge Public Library. Recorded on December 08, 1988, this program originally aired on Channel 37 Cambridge Municipal Television as an episode of the show: The Author Series. In this episode, Alex Haley discusses his novels, his research, and his family. The documentary, hosted by Lynn Sherr of ABC News, features exclusive and never-before-seen footage of Alex Haley speaking to Reader's Digest employees about his life experiences, his travels to Africa and his first encounter with Malcolm X. It was created in conjunction with the 30th Anniversary of Roots.

(These videos are © 2013 City of Cambridge, MA. All Rights Reserved. © 2007 The Reader's Digest Association Inc. All Rights Reserved.)


Alex Haley Discusses Black History Month And Malcolm X Film
Alex Haley On Black History (1991)
Alex Haley With Spike Lee (1992)
Alex Haley discusses African American history and his work at a Black History Month event at Harvard University on February 25, 1991. Haley says that people tend to talk about Black history as if it is separate from American history. Haley says that Black history is a part of American history; that people who claim to know American history must be familiar with Black history. Alex Haley interviewed Spike Lee in 1992 on his cable network series Dialogue With Black Filmmakers. Spike Lee was in the thick of finishing his magnum opus Malcolm X when these two popular personalities came together and compare notes on the man and legend that was Malcolm X. Spike Lee later went on to write the screenplay and direct the Malcolm X film in 1992.


Digging Up The Roots of Roots And Celebrating Black History
Digging Up The Roots of Roots (1991)
A Celebration of Black History (1992)
In this interview, Alex Haley shares with Upon Reflection host, Marcia Alvar, how his book, Roots, and the television adaptation that aired on ABC in January of 1977 ignited public interest in genealogy. Alex Haley also discusses the publishing process and insight into the lives of African-American leaders, Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Beyond The Dream IV: A Celebration of Black History was a February 5, 1992 live satellite video conference featuring prominent scholars and live discussions. It focused on the history and the accomplishments of African-Americans. Panelists: Alex Haley, Renee Poussaint, Henry Hampton, Barbara Reynolds, Chuck Stone, and Maxine Waters.


Alex Haley Discusses Berea College And Interviews Julie Dash
Once Upon A Vision The Berea Story
Alex Haley With Julie Dash (1992)
This one-hour documentary special narrated by Alex Haley reveals the little-known history of Berea, Kentucky, a unique 19th Century inter-racial colony founded in the midst of the slave-holding South. Before the Civil War, a group of zealous abolitionists and former slaves began building a community based on unconditional racial and gender equality and participatory democracy. On January 14, 1992, Alex Haley spoke with filmmaker Julie Dash on his cable network series Dialogue With Black Filmmakers. Julie had already caught the attention of filmgoers with a sensitive portrayal in her 1983 short film, Illusions. But it is Daughters of the Dust, the critically acclaimed period piece set on the sea islands of South Carolina, that have brought her greatest recognition.


Alex Haley Speaks About Malcolm X On American Experience
A Synthesis of Roles (1988)
Driving Around Harlem (1988)
In this video excerpt, Alex Haley describes what is was like working with the civil rights leader, Malcolm X, on his autobiography. Haley mentions how Malcolm would say. "I am a part of all I have met." And by that he meant that all the things he had done in his earlier life had exposed him to things, had taught him skills of one another sort or had taught him traits of one another sort, all of which had synthesized into the Malcolm who became the spokesman for the nation of Islam. Alex Haley began working on The Autobiography of Malcolm X with Malcolm in 1963. The book was published after Malcolm's death in November of 1965. Haley recalls, One day Malcolm said to me, "Would I like to ride with him?" Periodically he would ask me that. He had a blue Oldsmobile and he liked to drive around, just tool around in Harlem. Sounded like he called it patrolling his beat. It was among his people and he genuinely enjoyed it. People would recognize him and they would wave.


David Wolper Discusses The Roots Mini-Series
David Wolper Discusses Roots (1998)
David Wolper Discusses Roots (1998)
Legendary producer David Wolper was interviewed by Morrie Gelman where he discussed the acclaimed ABC mini-series, Roots. On first meeting Haley Wolper noted, "We have a little luncheon. Myself and some of the people in my company and in about ten minutes the table was won over. This man mesmerized us in a ten to twenty minute conversation, we were [mouth agape]. I went home from the lunch and said my god, this man is unbelievable." In this second video clip, David Wolper discussed censorship issues with Roots and then spoke about Roots: The Next Generations and some of the cast members. David Wolper is noted for stating the following about Alex Haley, "I have to say the day I met Alex Haley until the day he passed away, he didn't change this much. He was the same gentle, sweet, kind person—the kindest sweetest man you'd ever wanted to met."


LeVar Burton And Prominent Others Reflect Back On Roots
LeVar Burton With Ann Curry (2002)
Prominent Others On Roots (2007)
On the 25th anniversary of the landmark TV mini-series Roots, LeVar Burton, who played Kunta Kinte, spoke about the traumatic experience of re-enacting the history of slavery in the U.S. Burton stated, "I think Alex would be absolutely tickled that 25 years later we can look at this as, not just a—a huge event in the history of television, but Roots in the late '70s was part of a social awakening, and was a huge cultural phenomenon. Not just in this country, all over the world. I think he'd be really pleased by that." In 2007, TV Land honored the 30th Anniversary of Roots and presented some of the original cast members with their tribute Anniversary Award. In this video clip you will hear from: Ossie Davis (Actor), David Wolper (Executive Producer), William Blinn (Writer), Alfred Schneider (Standards & Practices), Ed Asner (Actor), Quincy Jones (Music Composer) and Joseph Jennings (Art Director). It ended with: "Roots continues to be powerful television and an important lesson in our country's history."


Celebrating 30 Years of Roots And Alex Haley
LeVar Burton On Roots (2007)
TV Land Awards: Roots (2007)
LeVar Burton discusses Roots during a podcast with Cable in the Classroom. It was recorded in conjunction with cable network TV One bringing Roots, the epic mini-series that thirty years ago changed the face of television, to a new generation of viewers. Forest Whitaker and Morgan Freeman present LeVar Burton, Louis Gossett Jr., Cicely Tyson, Leslie Uggams, John Amos, Ben Vereen, Todd Bridges, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Georg Stanford Brown and Olivia Cole with the TV Land Anniversary Award in honor of Roots.


Leslie Uggams And LeVar Burton On The Legacy of Roots
Leslie Uggams On Roots (2009)
LeVar Burton On Kunta Kinte (2009)
In the 1970's Leslie Uggams had her own television variety show and starred in the ground-breaking TV mini-series Roots. Always a lover of live performance, she has continued to enjoy success on the stage. Tony-winning Broadway star Leslie Uggams sits down with Ernie Manouse to discuss her experiences on the stage, her collaborations with Mitch Miller, and her memories on the set of the monumental TV mini-series Roots. LeVar Burton became an instant star with his television debut, playing Kunta Kinte in Roots. In this video, Burton speaks fondly of Alex Haley and chronicles his participation in Roots: his casting, his immersion into the role he played and his work with the all-star cast. "Kunta is a universal icon of freedom. How much of an honor to have been the person to create that role—in terms of [his] meaning to people all over the world."


Al Roker And Wendy Williams Host Cast Members of Roots
Today Show: Roots Reunion (2013)
Wendy Williams: The Cast of Roots (2013)
LeVar Burton, Louis Gossett Jr. and Leslie Uggams appeared on the Today Show with Al Roker for a Roots reunion and to talk about the impact the Roots mini series had on American culture. They said it was amazing to bring so many African-American actors and actresses together to film one show back in 1977. They were not sure if people were going to accept Roots for what it depicted and they were amazed when they found out how many people were tuning in to watch. "Americans stopped what they were doing to watch the show," Uggams said. Some of the original Roots cast members showed up on the Wendy Williams show to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the mini series and discuss the "Django" hub bub. "Quentin Tarantino is a very clever man, very brilliant, brilliant movie," Louis Gossett, Jr. began diplomatically. "[But] The N word… I'm old enough to remember the knee-jerk reactions when I hear the word and there were too many of them for me." Leslie Uggams took it to the house, basically telling Tarantino to shut his mouth about Roots. "We're telling our Black story, he ain't Black!"


The Alex Haley Museum And Interpretive Center
WLJT DTV, Channel 11 Visits The Alex Haley Museum (2009)
Tennessee Treasures On The Alex Haley Museum (2006)
The Alex Haley Museum has been restored to model the home as it was when Alex Haley was born. Some of the 1919 furniture which decorates the home belonged to the Haley family. The home is open to the public as a Museum featuring Alex Haley's work, childhood memorabilia and references to the people who inspired his characters in Roots. Visitors can view the memorabilia and family artifacts that remain showcased. They also can see Alex Haley's final resting place at the front lawn of the home. Phone: (731) 738-2240 • Address: 535 Haley Avenue, Henning, TN 38041. Tennessee Treasures visited the Alex Haley Museum featuring Alex Haley—writer of the novel Roots. This video begins with an overview of Haley's Tennessee roots. Shortly after Alex was born, his parents moved to the town of Henning where Alex attended grade school. Fred Montgomery, childhood friend of Haley, speaks about Alex's early dreams of wanting to become a writer. The video then gives a short biography of Alex Haley and his earlier works that lead to the release of Roots and the Television Mini-Series. You can also view the Tennessee Treasures: Article.

(Videos are presented under the Creative Commons License. © 2009 WLJT, © 2006 Vicki Lea Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.)


The Opening of The Alex Haley Museum Interpretive Center
Finding Your "Roots" At Alex Haley Museum Opening
Patrons Find Their "Roots" At Alex Haley Museum Opening
When 17-year-old violinist Joseph Matthews, a high school senior from Memphis, performed at the dedication of the Alex Haley Museum and Interpretive Center, he had no idea he would discover his family roots. The center was dedicated on August 13, 2010. William Haley, Alex's son, said that resources available through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are very valuable in searching African-American ancestry. Alex Haley's dream and legacy of discovering our "roots" continues. The Alex Haley Museum and Interpretive Center celebrates Alex Haley with interactive exhibits, artifacts from his life and mementos from his career. The new Interpretive Center houses exhibits that provide an overview of Haley's literary career, from his early days as a journalist in the Coast Guard, through his struggles as a freelancer, to his ultimate success with Roots, a book Haley spent twelve years researching and writing. Additional exhibits educate visitors about other Haley writing projects.

(The above videos are presented under the Creative Commons License. © 2010 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)


Haley Heritage Square • Knoxville, Tennessee
The 10th Anniversary of Haley Statue
Avon Williams Rollins, Sr.
Haley Heritage Square Was Dedicated In February of 1998 Avon is The Director / CEO of The Beck Cultural Exchange Center

(The above video clips are presented to our audience under the Creative Commons License. © 2008 WBIR.COM All Rights Reserved.)


Haley Farm • Children's Defense Fund • Clinton, Tennessee
The Langston Hughes Library Alex Haley Farm
Kathy Stookesbury–Long Speaks About Alex Haley Farm
In 2011 Ms. Theresa Venable Won The Zora Neale Hurston Award Kathy Was A Former Employee And Dear Friend of Alex Haley

(The above video clips are presented to our audience under the Creative Commons License. © 2011 C-SPAN. All Rights Reserved.)


Haley Farm • Children's Defense Fund • Clinton, Tennessee
The History of The Alex Haley Farm
The CDF Haley Farm And Library
Theresa Venable • 2015 Honoree: Women's Political Collaborative A Production of WBIR-TV Channel 10 of Knoxville, Tennessee

(The above video clips are presented under the Creative Commons License. © 2015 AA Registry, © 2010 WBIR-TV. All Rights Reserved.)


Henry Mancini Roots Mural Theme • Tribute To Alex Haley
Henry Mancini Roots Mural Theme
Alexander Murray Palmer Haley
Alex Haley
The composer, pianist and theme song scorer, Henry Mancini (1924-1994), was a major figure in American music from 1954 until his death. Mancini spear-headed a change in film scoring, replacing the use of symphonic arrangements with elements of jazz, tin pan alley and popular music. "In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage—to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness." ~ Alex Haley.
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