Sharing the legacy of American writer and author Alex Haley

Deadline to submit work in contest honoring late author is Friday, Feb. 19

Deeper look at mini-series based on book by Alex Haley

DETROIT – It was a landmark mini-series that changed the way America views its own history.

The Roots mini-series in 1977 was based on a book by American author and writer Alex Haley.

While the show captivated the nation, there are still those who struggle to keep the name of the Pulitzer Prize winning author alive.

The Roots mini-series by Haley was viral back then.

A landmark, historic epic that taught much of America about the history of African Americans through the eyes of Kunta Kinte, stolen from his land to become a slave in this land.

More than a few are stumped when asked about Haley today.

“We have to keep the story alive because when a person dies a whole library burns down,” said attorney Gregory Reed of the Alex Haley 100 Year Anniversary Committee.

It is through those goggles, Reed on behalf of the Keeper of the Word Foundation is fighting to keep the name of Haley alive.

In this year, the 100th anniversary of his birth, many remember an author and historian from humble beginnings.

“He was really a storyteller. It took him 20 years to learn how to write,” said Reed.

The Keeper of the Word Foundation is looking for artists from across the nation to vie for recognition for their work to be hosted in the Alex Haley Museum in Tennessee which means incredible exposure to the world.

Painters, sculptors, photographers, visual artists are invited to submit the way they see America’s story to help keep the way Haley saw the nation’s story alive.

The deadline for art submission is this Friday, Feb. 19, the anniversary of Haley’s death.

You can submit artwork by emailing,

The deadline to submit artwork is Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (WDIV)

About the Authors:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.