Where to View Roots
For copies of the Roots book, DVD or video, please check with your local library system. Most public libraries carry these or can obtain them on loan from other library systems. Also, for a small rental fee, you can usually obtain the Roots videos from most cable providers. If you wish to purchase your own, go to amazon.com and select the video section. Enter “Roots” as the search term. They have both the original series and the follow-on series, “Roots, the Next Generation.” Also, sometimes, if you get lucky, you can find a good price for the book or the complete movie series on ebay.com. Enter “Alex Haley” on the search engine.
The following Study Guides are available for free download (pdf format) and classroom use by educators. (To download any of the Guides, please click on the links provided. You must have Adobe Acrobat reader installed on your computer to open the files.)
Odyssey Channel ROOTS Guide by KIDSNET
Roots offers an array of educational opportunities, from its historical perspectives, to its tackling of social issues, to its inspiring journey into genealogy. The KIDSNET Guide for Educators offers background on Alex Haley, his novel, and the series, brief synopses of each episode, discussion questions for each episode, and an extensive student activity that helps students take a closer look at their own personal histories and history as a whole. All curriculum correlates with the national standards for U.S. and world history and social studies. There is an extensive resources section with suggestions for books, videos, and Web sites for more information.
The following Fact Sheets are available for free download (pdf format) and classroom use by educators. (To download any of the fact sheets, please click on the links provided. You must have Adobe Acrobat reader installed on your computer to open the files.) Please contact the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation if you would like to use these Fact Sheets for any other purpose.
Genealogy — Discovering Your Own “Roots”
This 2-page fact sheet discusses the value of doing genealogy research, and provides a brief list of recommended resources.
Alexander Haley and Kunta Kinte
Brief biographies of Alex Haley and Kunta Kinte are provided in this 2-page fact sheet. An overview of the Haley family genealogy as it is presented in Haley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book Roots is also included.
Slavery in a Border State — What Was it Like in Anne Arundel County, Maryland?
Slaves and their descendants have been tied to the landscape of Anne Arundel County, Maryland for 350 years. Their forced labor made possible a strong tobacco economy, the rise of a wealthy planter class that held the reins of political power for centuries, and the construction of many buildings that survive today. This 4-page fact sheet includes a brief look at rural and urban life for the slave, as well as their attempts at resistance.
African-American History in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County
This fact sheet provides a 2-page timeline of African-American history for one of Maryland’s key regions.
The Story Wall of the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial
The Story Wall, located along the historic Annapolis, Maryland seawall at the City Dock, anchors the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial in history, within the context of slavery, the Roots saga, and author Alex Haley’s vision for racial reconciliation and healing. (2-page fact sheet)
The African-American Heritage Walking Tour of Annapolis was created in a partnership between the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation and Watermark Tours. This 2 hour walking tour won the 2006 Four Rivers Heritage Award for its unique and compelling learning experience that engages students as they trace the rich history of African Americans in Annapolis. The students follow the chronology of African-American history in Maryland as they move through time from the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial where Kunta Kinte arrived in 1767, to the Thurgood Marshall Memorial which recognizes the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, sworn in to office in 1967. They learn about the city life of early slaves, the remarkable contributions of free blacks as they actively participated in the business and social events of the town, how the town forever changed as a result of the Civil War, the reconstruction and Jim Crow eras, and the modern world of today’s African-American leaders who walk the streets of Annapolis as they participate in the process of making Maryland laws. Please visit Watermark’s site to learn more about this and other student tours available.