“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep to know our heritage…Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning no matter what our attainments in life.” – Alex Haley
Look around you…Can you guess what everyone’s heritage? German, Italian, Korean, Nicaraguan, Australian, Russian, Brazilian, Islamic? The United States is a unique place to live, because of everyone’s different backgrounds.
Almost 40 years ago, an author wrote a novel about the research of his heritage, one that wasn’t a warm and cheerful story. After the book “Roots: The Saga of an American Family” was published in 1976, there was political, social, racial, and cultural controversy. Though the controversy, the book won the 1977 National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize. The book even went on to be a television miniseries that over 130 million people watched. The book/miniseries made Americans aware of the dark and cruelty of the African American history and question and begin researching their roots.
Alex Haley inspired people to take a look at where they come from. It’s not for us to dwell on the past, but to learn, appreciate and recognize the struggle that our ancestors went through. Their story shouldn’t be hidden and forgotten about, because they’re why we are here today.
West Tennessee is lucky to have Alex Haley’s House and Interpretive Center in Henning, TN (It’s only a Day Trip from Memphis -1 hour drive). Alex Haley would’ve been 93 on Monday, August 11. This Saturday at the Museum they are hosting a celebration for Alex Haley’s 93rd Birthday and the recognition as a Literary Landmark. Come out and commemorate this literary legend that has influenced many Americans.
Also, to learn about the African American History and it’s impact not only on West Tennessee, but the entire nation, check out the newly renovated Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel Make sure and allow a couple of hours, to get the full experience.