Black History Trailblazers of the 1970s: Alex Haley, The Author

In our ongoing celebration of Black History Month, we look back at some of the leaders, icons and pop culture juggernauts that helped to bring diversity, equity, inclusion and representation to the forefront of the American landscape — like these men and women who left their indelible mark on the 1970s. 


With his ground-breaking novel Roots — and the blockbuster TV series that followed — Coast Guard official turned novelist Alexander Murray Palmer Haley sparked a nationwide resurgence in genealogy while simultaneously shining a brilliant spotlight on the horrors of slavery. It was also through Haley’s unflinching work that many white readers for the first time ever learned of the unimaginable hardships Black American families were forced to endure and overcome in the pre-Civil War South as part of their ongoing quest for freedom and dignity.

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