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School records indicate that Haley was not an exceptional student, and at the age of eighteen he joined the U. Coast Guard and began a twenty-year career in the service.He practiced his writing, at first only to cure boredom on the ship, and soon found himself writing love letters for his shipmates to send home to their wives and girlfriends.
He even reenacted Kunta's experience during the middle passage by spending a night in the hold of a ship (the storage room below deck) stripped to his underwear.
Haley himself described Roots as a "faction," a mixture of fact and fiction.
Growing up, Haley became interested in his ancestry while listening to colorful stories told by his family.
These stories, which traced seven generations, would become the source and inspiration for Haley's later work.
Most critics agreed and evaluated Roots as a blend of history and entertainment.
However, some voiced concerns—especially at the time of the television series—that racial tension in America would be aggravated by Roots.Two sequels, The Next Generation and The Gift, quickly followed.Roots appealed to readers of every background: for African American readers, the story inspired pride and a greater understanding of the past; and for readers of other ethnicities, it was a powerful look at an American family's immigrant past.For correspondence between Haley and Doubleday's Ken Mc Cormick, see Garret A. The OAAU is the Organization of Afro-American Unity, the organization that X founded in 1964 after his trip to Mecca as an international Africanist organization.Alex Haley is the celebrated author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family (1976).Two weeks after the book was completed, Haley began work on his next project, Roots.The tale follows the life of Kunta Kinte, a proud African who was kidnapped from his village in West Africa.After surviving the middle passage (the brutal shipment of Africans to be sold in the Americas), he was made a slave on a plantation in the United States.Haley visited archives, libraries, and research repositories on three continents to make the book as authentic (real) as possible.Over eight million copies of the book were in print, and the text was translated into twenty-six languages.In addition to fame and fortune, Roots also brought Haley controversy.