Courses/Lectures

Each of the 34 courses available can be enrolled in individually, or in packages.  Each course is an approximately 1-hour session that consists of the opportunity for the students to interact with the associated artifacts, and a discussion exercise tailored for your specific class in accordance with your teacher's curriculum/recommendations.  If the Course List below doesn’t fit your needs, we can work together to develop the presentation you desire – from control of the discussion topics to selection of items to be presented.

Alex Haley and Our Roots

In 1978, Roots: An American Saga aired on televisions around the country and started a national dialogue on the impact of the slave experience in the United States.  While that conversation hasn't fully been completed, Haley's story not only helped to remind white America of the consequences of the actions of some of their ancestors, but also gave many Black Americans a history lost from their own ancestors.  In this collection we have first edition copies of both Roots and his other seminal work, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, along with items signed by Haley himself.

 

Artifacts: Autographed index card, First Edition copies of Roots and the Autobiography of Malcolm X, signed photo of Alex Haley

Autobiography of Malcolm X, 1st Edition (Paperback) 1965 - Before he wrote Roots, Alex Haley had established himself as a journalist, often freelancing for different publications as he was building his career.  He was able to score an interview for Playboy Magazine with Malcolm X, the fiery Black Muslim leader.  The magazine interview sparked a friendship and mutual respect between Haley and Malcolm X, resulting in the pair reconnecting to pen Malcolm's autobiography.  The book was published shortly after Malcolm's death in 1965, and has remained wildly popular today, in part because of its message of pride and redemption, which still resonates today.

Roots: The Saga of an American Family, 1st Edition (Hardcover), 1976 - One of the most important works of the 20th Century, Roots was a historical novel that drew inspiration from the geneaological past of Haley's family to tell the story of the African-American experience - from capture in Africa to the transportation as slaves across the Atlantic eventually to the United States.  It follows Haley's family tree through the tribulations of slavery and the descrimination of the Jim Crow era.  When his story was produced as a TV mini-series airing in 1978, it became the most watched television mini-series of all time, captivating its audience while educating them on a past many sought to ignore or forget.  Roots, both as a novel and a television series, inspired dialogue throughout the country and helped to stress the need for America to accept and learn from both the positive and negative aspects of its past.

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