Notes

“Did you have any idea?”: Alex Haley, “Roots, Plus 12 Years; The Ups and Downs of a Successful Author,” Washington Post, February 12, 1989.

“Your life will never be the same again”: Susan King, “The Roots of Change,” Los Angeles Times, January 19, 1992.

“two cans of sardines and eighteen cents”: Joy Wansley and Lois Armstrong, “Alex Haley’s Search for Roots Took Him First to the Brink of Suicide, and Now to Fame and Riches,” People Weekly, October 18, 1976.

“unlocked”: Alex Haley, Roots: The Saga of an American Family (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1976), p. 669.

“thrilled to be driving the newly famous writer”: Jacqueline Trescott, “Alex Haley: The Author of Roots, Astride His Moment of Fame,” Washington Post, January 28, 1977.

“Hey, brother, that’s a magnificent piece of work.”: Ibid.

“the most significant civil rights event”: James Thomas Jackson, “Awakening to a Common Suffering and Pride,” New York Times, February 8, 1977.

“drastic drop”: Jerry Buck, “Making TV History: Viewers Pulled in by Roots,” Los Angles Times, January 29, 1977.

“Rootsmania”: Rhoygnette Ellison, “Rhoygnette’s Revelations,” Chicago Metro News, March 5, 1977.

“Sir”: Alex Haley, “There Are Days When I Wish It Hadn’t Happened,” Playboy, March 1979.

“I want to thank you for what you’ve done for America.”: Ibid.

“Alex Haley”: Ibid.

“That’s him!”: Ibid.

“He ain’t goin’ nowhere!”: Alex Haley, “Roots, Plus 12 Years.”

“Mr. Haley seated at a small table”: James H. Brady, “In the Matter of Alex Haley’s Roots,Baltimore Sun, February 6, 1977.

“heavy, courteous and civilized”: Terrance O’Flaherty, “TV Today,” San Francisco Chronicle, February 14, 1977.

“inflame”: Robert E Strain, “Alex Haley’s ‘Roots’ – A Family Triumph,”Los Angeles Times (“Letters to the Times”), February 6, 1977.

“blacks were just getting settled down”: “Why Roots Hit Home,” Time, February 14, 1977.

“Haley is one author, who won’t end his day in a garret.”: “Haley’s Quest for Roots,” Forbes, February 15, 1977.

“Alex Haley, Roots, U.S.A.”: Alex Haley, “Roots, Plus 12 Years.”

 “flooded with appeals for help”: Marjorie Hyer, “Mormon Microfilmed Roots in Great Demand,” Washington Post, March 4, 1977.

“most wanted man in the nation”: Roots’ Haley talks about rags to riches,” Tuenawanda News Frontier, February 19, 1977.

“Kinte”: Hans J. Massquoi, “Alex Haley: The Man Behind Roots,” Ebony, April 1977.

“phony excuse just to go to the bathroom”: Linda Witt, “Haley’s Roots: Stung by Accusations, Alex Haley Returns to the Village Where He Found His Roots,” People Weekly, May 9, 1977.

 “national monument”: James Pringle, “To the Roots of Roots,Newsweek, March 14, 1977.

 “reporter with a reputation for integrity”: Robert D. McFadden, “Some Points of Roots questioned; Haley Stands by Book As a Symbol,” New York Times, April 10, 1977.

“grave flaws”: PHS, “The Times Diary: Sticking Pins into A Best-Seller,” The [London] Times, April 12, 1977.

“trading post”: Mark Ottaway, “Tangled Roots,” The [London] Sunday Times, April 10 1977.

“notorious unreliability”: Ibid.

“playboy”: Ibid.

“doubts about Fofana’s [the griot’s] reliability”: Ibid.

“so confusing, so obscured by contradictory statements from different sources”: Ibid.

“neither you nor I know exactly what happened”: Ibid.

“symbol of the fate of my people.”: Ibid.

“I spent twelve years doing this book.”: PHS, “The Times Diary: Sticking Pins into A Best-Seller.”

“looking for a headline”: Malcolm R. West, “Black Historians Reflect on Criticism of Roots,”Jet, April 28, 1977.

“like saying that Anne Frank never existed or that the whole Nazi thing was a hoax”: Kenneth L. Woodward and Anthony Collings, “The Limits of ‘Faction,’” Newsweek, April 25, 1977.

“misconstrued”: Tom Zito, “The Gambia and the Roots of Tourism,” Washington Post, May 17, 1977.

“broader attempt to demean anything Black people have to say about the slavery experience”: Malcolm R. West, “Black Historians Reflect on Criticism of Roots.”

“Mr. Haley to be a man of great integrity”: Herb Boyd, “Roots’ Naw, Rutz, Dummy,” Essence, August 1977.

“head on”: “Haley Defends Roots Facts; Author Charges British Reporter Made ‘Unfounded Accusations,’” Washington Post, April 11, 1977.

“‘I’ll be damned.’”: “Author Haley Reporter Moore Win Pulitzers,” Jet, May 5, 1977.

“‘Aw shit, baby,’ he murmured.”: Linda Witt, “Haley’s Roots: Stung by Accusations.”

“numerous similarities”: Robert D. McFadden, “Novelist’s Suit Charges Roots Copied Parts of her 1966 Book,” New York Times, April 23, 1977.

“ridiculous”: Ibid.

 “who write blockbuster books”: Ibid.

“smacked of bitterness”: Jacqueline Trescott, “Respected Scholar; Margaret Walker Has Intense Feelings On Black Writers’ Spiritual Alliance,” Washington Post, April 28, 1977.

“verbatim copying”: Christopher Dickey, “Roots Author Facing Accusations; Novelist’s Suit Charges Haley’s Book is ‘Largely Copied,’” Washington Post, April 28, 1977.

“up against something incalculably great in force”: Harold Courlander, “Roots, The African, and the Whisky Jug Case,” Village Voice, April 9, 1979.

“open season”: Christopher Dickey, “Roots Author Facing Accusations; Novelist’s Suit Charges Haley’s Book is ‘Largely Copied,’”  

“more than half the profits of Roots”: Arnold H. Lubasch, “Suit Says Roots Copied from Novel,” New York Times, November 9, 1978.

“most illustrious son”: Othal H. Lakey, “A Day with Alex Haley,” The Christian Index, June 9, 1977.

“may be the nearest thing”: John Egerton, “Homecoming,” New Times, July 8, 1977, Box 29, Folder 11, John Egerton Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Vanderbilt University.

“lone policeman and judge”: “Roots Effect on Henning, Who Knows,” The Tennessean, April 18, 1977.

“niggers”: John Egerton, “Homecoming.”

“biggest day Henning has ever had”: Ibid.

 “the number one colored man in this town”: Ibid.

 “whisked away”: Ibid.

“They rushed him in and rushed him out.”: Ibid.

“Young mothers”: Othal H. Lakey, “A Day with Alex Haley.”

 “did not get those pictures autographed by Mr. Haley”: Ibid.

“Haley Comes back to Hamilton Roots”: “Haley Comes back to Hamilton Roots,” The [Utica, NY] Daily Press, May 30, 1977.

“one of the most famous men in America”: Roy Schecter, “Spotlight: Commencement,” Hamilton Magazine, Spring 1977, Alexander ‘Alex’ Haley Folder, Hamilton College Archives.

“dig up their records”: Jeffery Elliot, “Alex Haley Talks to Jeffery Elliot,” Negro History Bulletin (Jan/Feb 1978), pp. 782-785.

“come and ring the bell”: Interview of Nan Haley, February 22, 1992 (transcript), Series I, Sub-Series A: Transcripts, 1986-1992, Box 1, Folder 6, Anne Romaine Collection of Alex Haley, MS. 2828, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Library Special Collections Research Services.

“editorial assistant”: Hans J. Massquoi, “Alex Haley: The Man Behind Roots.”

 “couldn’t control”: Romaine Cassette Interviews of Fred Montgomery, February 23, 1992, Series I, Sub-Series B: Audiotapes, 1986-1992, Box 2, Folder 7, Anne Romaine Collection of Alex Haley, MS. 2828, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Library Special Collections Research Services.

“George [Sims] went into the library.”: Haley Book Interview of Dr. C. Eric Lincoln, undated (transcript), Series I, Subject Files: 1958-1995, Box 3, Folder 14, Anne Romaine Collection, MS. 2032, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Library Special Collections Research Services.

 “nonfiction”: Eliot Fremont-Smith, “Alex Haley and Rot in Roots,” Village Voice, May 30, 1979.

“faction”: Harold Courlander, “Roots, The African, and the Whisky Jug Case.”

“subject to public domain”: “Alexander vs. Haley: Opinion #4766840,” Fulton Oursler, Jr. Papers, Box 2, Folder 6, Georgetown University Library Special Collections Research Center, Washington, D.C.

“deviated more often than they should”: Ibid.

“numerous”: Ibid.

“nasty letters”: Jacqueline Trescott, “Roots of Victory; For Courlander, It’s All in 40 Years’ Work,” Washington Post, December 16, 1978.

“if you think you have a solid legal case”: Bayard Rustin to Harold Courlander, November 29, 1978, in possession of Michael Courlander.

“the book that came before the Roots experience”: Christopher Dickey, “Roots Author Facing Accusations.”

“literary justice”: Jacqueline Trescott, “Roots of Victory.”

“such tests as these”: Christopher Dickey, “Roots Author Facing Accusations.”

“The similarities between the two books”: Robert W. Hanning, “Plantiffs’ Pre-Trial Memorandum and Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law,” Volume III, Report of Professor Robert W. Hanning, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University.” United States District Court, Southern District of New York (1978), 77 Civ. 2546 (RJW) p.1.

“average reader”: “Harold Courlander v. Alex Haley, 1978” United States District Court, Southern District of New York (1978) p.1295

“When did you first hear of The African?”: Ibid., p.1386

“In the spring of 1977”: Ibid., pp.1386-1387

 “almost akin to someone doing a book”: Herb Boyd, “Plagiarism and the Roots Suits,” First World: An International Journal of Black Thought, 2 (1979) p.32

“Mr. Haley as I see it”: “Harold Courlander v. Alex Haley, 1978” United States District Court, Southern District of New York (1978) p.1309

“various”: Phil Stanford, “Roots and Grafts on the Haley Story,” The Washington Star, April 8, 1979.

 “The reason for the settlement”: Mary Seibert McCauley, “Alex Haley, A Southern Griot: A Literary Biography,” p. 199, Ph.D. Dissertation, Vanderbilt University, 1983

“How can you explain every word that you write?”: Ibid.

“I don’t remember.”: Jan Herman (Chicago Sun-Times News Service),“Haley’s Life ‘Is a Blur’ After Plagiarism Settlement,” The [Memphis] Commercial Appeal,December 30, 1978.

“I became a sitting duck for lawsuits.”: Alex Haley, “There Are Days When I Wish It Hadn’t Happened.”

“to know so relatively little about”: Joseph Bruchac to Harold Courlander, December 15, 1978, in possession of Michael Courlander.

 “him my own personal copy”: Ibid.

“Here, you can keep it.”: Phil Sanford, “Roots and Grafts,” Inquiry, April 16, 1979.

 “now a solid member of the professional class”: Joseph McLellan,“The Return of Roots: A Preview with the Haley Family,” Washington Post, January 15, 1979.

“third most admired black man in America”: Richard M. Levine, “Roots and Branches,” New Times, September 4, 1978.

“first state-owned historic site”: Carol Van West, “Alex Haley State Historic Site,”The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, Version 2.0, January 1, 2010. http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entry.php?rec=587

“innocent bystander”: Harold Courlander, “Roots, The African, and the Whisky Jug Case.”

“most recent guide to genealogical standards”: Gary B. Mills and Elizabeth Shown Mills, “Roots and the New ‘Faction:’ A Legitimate Tool for Clio?,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 89 (January 1981), p.7.

“most basic standards of genealogical inquiry”: Ibid., p.24.

“every pre-Civil War statement of Afro-American lineage in Roots”: Ibid., p.6.

“mistakes”: James Kent, director, “The Roots of Alex Haley,” BBC Documentary, 1997.

“pious pristine people”: Mary Seibert McCauley, “Alex Haley, A Southern Griot: A Literary Biography,” p.183.

“come along and say Roots was not so”: Ibid.

“Everybody was hoping to get a chunk of his money.”: Author’s interview of Girdie King and her husband, May 21, 2010

“would never get in touch with him”: Ibid.

“spread himself out too thin”: Ibid.

“hypnotize one human being”: Author’s interview of Fulton Oursler, Jr., September 6, 2010.

“going after a legend in the black community”: James Kent, “The Roots of Alex Haley.”

“only monument in the United States”: Nelson Hernandez, “A Symbol of History and Hope,” Washington Post, June 13, 2002.

“The late Alex Haley, the author of ‘Roots,’”: Rachel Weiner, “Why Lamar Alexander Quoted Alex Haley” Washington Post, January 21, 2013

“Whatever its flaws”: Editorial, New York Times, February 12, 1992.

 

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