All Eyes On Who Black History Month With Alex Haley

In honor of Black History Month AllEyesOnWho and Entourage Magazine celebrates the memory by honoring some of the pioneers through out the month of February.

Alex Haley — born on August 11, 1921 in Ithaca, New York. Journalist & author whose works of historical fiction and reportage depicted the struggles of African Americans.  He became famous with the publication of the novel ROOTS.  He was an exceptionally bright and gifted student, he graduated from high school at the age of 15.  He enrolled in two different colleges, in 1939, at 17, Haley quit school to enlist in the Coast Guard, he quickly became a third class petty officer. While on the ship he wrote short stories and articles and sent them to magazines and publishers back in the United States.  He retired with the Coast Guard in 1959.

As a young boy, Alex Haley first learned of his African ancestor, Kunta Kinte, by listening to the family stories of his maternal grandparants while spending his summers in Henning, Tennessee.  According to family history, Kunta Kinte landed with other Gambian Africans in “Napolis” (Annapolis, Maryland) where he was sold into slavery.

Alex Haley’s quest to learn more about his family history resulted in his writing the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Roots. The book has been published in 37 languages, and was made into the first week-long television mini-series, viewed by an estimated 130 million people. Roots also generated widespread interest in genealogy.

In 1962, Haley got his big break when Playboy magazine assigned him to do an interview with famous trumpeter Miles Davis. The article was such a success that the magazine contracted him to do a series of interviews with prominent African Americans. He had interviewed Martin Luther King Jr., Sammy Davis Jr., Quincy Jones & Malcolm X.
Haley was known for his writing of Roots and The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Haley died of a heart attack on February 10, 1992 at the age of 70.