Alex Haley

Roots (Doubleday, 1976), the bestselling Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Arthur Alex Haley, was translated into 37 languages and made into the first week-long television mini-series.  When the novel was first published in 1976, it touched a deep chord in many African American students at Northeastern.


In the winter of 1977, Northeastern was one of 500 universities and colleges nation-wide to offer a Roots course. On April 7, 1977, Haley spoke at the African-American Institute’s first annual lecture. He was introduced by Terri Caldwell, a student who had taken the Roots course.

During his address, Haley shared the reasons he spent 12 years and over $80,000 to uncover the stories of his African ancestors. He suggested the need to strengthen the American family unit and stressed the importance of knowing the history and origins of those who came before you.

Haley Lecture program
Haley's Introduction
Alex Haley Delivers Address