July 22, 2004

Looking for Kunte Kinte

La Shawn Barber has a terrific, and very moving post up right now - about Roots, and the 1977 phenom of a mini-series. I was just a small kid in 1977, but I remember Roots, I remember my parents watching it every night. It was quite ground-breaking at the time.

But here's what La Shawn has to say:

Every time I watch the movie, I'm saddened, not just because of its depiction of slavery or heavy melodrama. I think about "lost" relatives I'll never know about. And I always cry during one of the last scenes, a series of flashbacks of all the couples getting married, from Haley's parents in 1920 to the marriage of Kunta "Toby" Kinte and his wife Bell (played by the late great Madge Sinclair) in the late 1700s.

Wishing I knew about my ancestors is probably why I'm fascinated with the history of the British Monarchy, where ancestry can be traced back to at least the 11th century...

In my case, reliable knowledge of my ancestry goes back no further than my great-grandparents on both sides. Companies like African Ancestry, Inc., use DNA testing to trace genetic ancestry to a particular African country. It's as close as many of us will get to finding our Kunta Kinte.

And she ends with a question for her readers: How deep is your family tree?

You have to read all the comments. They're amazing.

Posted by sheila

Thanks for the link! I've moved to a new place, so you may want to change your permalink:


Posted by: La Shawn at July 22, 2004 04:17 PM

Great post! It really made me think.

And congratulations on finally ditching Blog Spot. Whoo-hoo!

Posted by: red at July 22, 2004 04:25 PM