Kunta Kinte (1750-1822; also known as "Toby Waller") was a Gambian–born American slave. The outline of his life story was the basis for the novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family by American author Alex Haley, and the television miniseries Roots, based on the book. Haley described his book as faction: a mixture of fact and fiction. After Haley's book became nationally famous, American author Harold Courlander noted that the section describing Kinte's life was apparently taken from Courlander's book The African. Haley at first dismissed the charge, but later issued a public statement affirming that Courlander's book had been the source, and Haley attributed the error to a mistake of one of his assistant researchers. The character in the miniseries was portrayed as a youth by LeVar Burton and as an older man by John Amos.
Alexander Murray Palmer Haley (August 11, 1921 – February 10, 1992) was an American writer. He is best known as the author of the 1976 book Roots: The Saga of an American Family and the co-author of The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
American literature is the written or literature produced in the area of the United States and its preceding colonies. For more specific discussions of poetry and theater, see Poetry of the United States and Theater in the United States. During its early history, America was a series of British colonies on the eastern coast of the present-day United States. Therefore, its literary tradition begins as linked to the broader tradition of English literature. However, unique American characteristics and the breadth of its production usually now cause it to be considered a separate path and tradition.
The United States of America (USA), commonly referred to as the United States (US), America, or simply the States, is a federal republic consisting of 50 states, 16 territories, and a federal district. The 48 contiguous states and the federal district of Washington, D.C., are in central North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is the northwestern part of North America and the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also has five populated and nine unpopulated territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean. The largest of these territories are Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands which are an official part of the United States. At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km2) in total and with around 316 million people, the United States is the fourth-largest country by total area and third largest by population. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The geography and climate of the United States is also extremely diverse, and it is home to a wide variety of wildlife.
Paleo-indians migrated from Asia to what is now the U.S. mainland around 15,000 years ago, with European colonization beginning in the 16th century. The United States emerged from 13 British colonies located along the Atlantic seaboard. Disputes between Great Britain and these colonies led to the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, delegates from the 13 colonies unanimously issued the Declaration of Independence. The ensuing war ended in 1783 with the recognition of independence of the United States from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and was the first successful war of independence against a European colonial empire. The current Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787. The first 10 amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and guarantee many fundamental civil rights and freedoms.
Roots: The Saga of an American Family is a novel written by Alex Haley and first published in 1976. It tells the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century African, captured as an adolescent and sold into slavery in the United States, and follows his life and the lives of his alleged descendants in the U.S. down to Haley. The release of the novel, combined with its hugely popular television adaptation, Roots (1977), led to a cultural sensation in the United States and together are considered one of the most important works of the twentieth century. The novel spent weeks on Best Seller ListThe New York Times, including 22 weeks in that list's top spot. The last seven chapters of the novel were later adapted in the form of a second miniseries, Roots: The Next Generations (1979). It stimulated great interest in genealogy among all Americans and an appreciation for African-American history.
Following the success of the novel and the miniseries, Haley was accused by two authors of plagiarism of their novels. Harold Courlander successfully asserted that Roots was plagiarized from his novel The African, published in 1967. The resulting trial ended with an out-of-court settlement and Haley's admission that some passages within Roots had been copied from Courlander's work; he said it was unintentional.
Roots: The Gift is a 1988 television film. It is the third installment of the Roots series, which traces the maternal family history of African American author Alex Haley, starting with his fourth great-grandfather Kunta Kinte. The film premiered on ABC on 11 December 1988, with AT&T as the sole national sponsor for the broadcast. LeVar Burton and Louis Gossett, Jr. reprise their respective roles of Kunta Kinte and Fiddler. The film is a midquel, taking place between the second and third episodes of the original Roots miniseries.
The film was crafted as a Christmas movie. As one of the characters explains, the "gift" referred to in the title is freedom.
Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest of an audience, or gives pleasure and delight. It can be an idea or a task, but is more likely to be one of the activities or events that have developed over thousands of years specifically for the purpose of keeping an audience's attention. Although people's attention is held by different things, because individuals have different preferences in entertainment, most forms are recognisable and familiar. Storytelling, music, drama, dance, and different kinds of performance exist in all cultures, were supported in royal courts, developed into sophisticated forms and over time became available to all citizens. The process has been accelerated in modern times by an entertainment industry which records and sells entertainment products. Entertainment evolves and can be adapted to suit any scale, ranging from an individual who chooses a private entertainment from a now enormous array of pre-recorded products; to a banquet adapted for two; to any size or type of party, with appropriate music and dance; to performances intended for thousands; and even for a global audience.
The experience of being entertained has come to be strongly associated with amusement, so that one common understanding of the idea is fun and laughter, although many entertainments have a serious purpose. This may be the case in the various forms of ceremony, celebration, religious festival, or satire for example. Hence, there is the possibility that what appears as entertainment may also be a means of achieving insight or intellectual growth.