Time Magazine refers to Alex Haley’s book, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, “one of the ten most important books of the 20th century” while his novel, “Roots” won the Pulitzer Prize. Haley also wrote the novel Queen that became a tv film.
Alex Haley was always known as a good writer. In the military, he frequently spent free-time writing love letters for his peers to be sent off to their significant others as most everyone felt that Haley had what many may refer to as, “the gift to gab.”
In fact, it was when Playboy Magazine picked Alex Haley to be writer and researcher for what Playboy referred to as, The Playboy Interviews.
The Playboy Interviews were apart of Playboy but not sexual oriented it was the magazines desire to reflect upon prominent African-American/Black’s in America. Haley interviewed such figures as Quincy Jones, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and many others.
Haley asked Malcolm X if he could write a book about him after his interview and about a year and a half later, The Autobiography of Malcolm X was born.
It was the Malcolm X autobiography that pushed Haley into his booming legacy. Shortly after the autobiography of Malcolm X was published, Haley became the writer everyone was talking about and wanted.
Haley began to travel more and researching his family history, taking trips to Africa and digging into genealogy.
For about ten years, Haley was mostly mesmerized and engulfed in the History of Slavery. Haley traveled from the States, to West Africa and England pulling together information, researching, tracking and investigating the plight of the slave and the journey of his own ancestors.
The results of Haley’s findings were regurgitated in the book, “Roots.” His book was transformed into a miniseries for television in 1977 and records reflect that the series boasted a whopping 130 million households/viewers tuned in to watch the series.
Roots was the first film to ever capture and reflect the life and times of slaves before, during and after slavery.
Alex Haley passed away from a heart attack in 1992 as a 70 year old resident of Seattle, Washington…We honor Alex Haley in Black History Month and forever more for his contribution to the truth in history about slavery and Blacks who live in America now referred to as African Americans.
Thank you Alex Haley for your integrity and effort you put into comprising literature that unveiled history during a time when a mask lay over the history of a country.