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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.
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.
He wrote serious pieces as well and submitted them to various magazines.
Upon retiring from the Coast Guard, Haley decided to become a full-time writer and journalist.
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.
Aidi Hishaam (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 312, and Garrett A.
Felber, "'A Writer Is What I Want, Not an Interpreter': Alex Haley and Malcolm X—Conceiving the Autobiographical Self and the Struggle for Authorship," , April 25, 2011,
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.