Roots was an overwhelming television success by both 1977 and current standards (some 130 million Americans tuned in at some point during the eight broadcasts). But we’d be remiss to forget about the original book Roots: The Saga of an American Family, which on its own was a great literary success. The novel, written by Alex Haley and based on the story of African slave Kunta Kinte, garnered so many positive reviews upon its 1976 release that it remained a #1 New York Times Bestseller for five months.
““Is this how you repay my goodness–with badness?” cried the boy. “Of course,” said the crocodile out of the corner of his mouth. “That is the way of the world.””
-Alex Haley, Roots: The Saga of an American Family