Alex Haley - Roots

The History of Roots

I decided to write a book. My own ancestors’ would automatically also be a symbolic saga of all African-descent people-who are without exception the seeds of someone like Kunta who was born and grew up in some black African village, someone who was captured and chained down in one of those slave ships that sailed them across the same ocean, into some succession of plantations, and since then a struggle for freedom

Alex Haley Author: Roots

Juffureh Village is situated on the North Bank Division of the Gambia. She is adjacent to the Fort James Island on the Mainland. The Taal Family founded the village before the Portuguese first discovered the former “Sandomingo” island in 1455. It is also said to believe that the Kintes were found to be the second Settlers of the hamlet followed by Darbos, Danso, Njays and Jammeh. Juffrureh is one of the oldest villages in Upper Niumi District and the history of Kunte Kinte, which made the villages popular, existed well before Alex Haley’s 'Roots' chronicled in 1976. The people of the village had suffered much enmity in the hands of Portuguese, French Spanish and English during the time of Slavery. She was also believed to be trans-shipping centre for slaves to Europe, West Indies, America and elsewhere, in the world.

The account below has been traced as a matter of facts and compiled by one of the grandsons of Binta Kinte the seventh generations of Kunte Kinte, who was also a tour guide and tour representative for Gamtours from 1991 to 1976. The objective of compiling this information into pamphlets is to promote tourism and sustain our history and the Gambia as a whole.

Binta Kinte is not the last generations of Kunta Kinte in Juffureh. I believe that it is not wise to say the old woman is the last descendant of the Kinte family in Juffureh which means when she pass away “ROOTS” tours to the village may easily disappear.

Written and compiled by Omar Taal, grandson of Binta Kinte Juffureh, The Gambia. Every Generation was given permission in 2002 to publish this article Searching for Roots’.

Postscript: Binta Kinte passed away in 2003. The Roots tours however still continue. Bina Kinte’s sons, daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren are still living in Juffureh.


Alex Haley - Roots


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