The central character in Roots is Kunta Kinte, the forebear of seven generations of the Haley family on the maternal side. Kinte is "the African," born in the village of Juffure in 1750, and kidnapped at age seventeen by slavers when he was cutting a tree for wood to make a drum. Given the name Toby by his white master, Kinte insists, however, on being called Kintay because that is his clan name and he wants to retain his identification. Losing his true name means severing connection with his lineage in Africa. Kinte attempts four times to escape and is captured each time. The...
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