Kunta Kinte

Slave / Literary Hero

Born: c. 1750
Died: c. 1810
Birthplace: Gambia, West Africa
Best known as: Hero of Roots
Kunta Kinte is the central figure in Alex Haley's 1976 book Roots. According to Haley's research, Kinte was 17 when he was captured and taken to America as a slave aboard the ship Lord Ligonier in 1767. Roots traces the lives of Kinte and his descendants down to Haley himself, Kinte's great great great great-grandson. The book became a popular TV miniseries in 1977, starring LeVar Burton as young Kinte and John Amos as the older Kinte.
Extra credit: A memorial to Haley and Kinte stands in Annapolis, Maryland, at the dock where Kinte arrived.

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