Roots: The Saga of an American Family Chapter 120 Summary

Alex Haley

Chapter 120 Summary

From Kansas, Alex travels to the National Archives and finds the North Carolina census records from after the Civil War. There he sees the blacksmith, Tom Murray, recorded as well as his wife, Irene. Alex even sees that his own “Great Aunt Liz” was six years.

Now Alex focuses on “ko” and “Kamby Bolongo” to figure out the tribe. Alex’s friend George points him to a group of African linguists. One oral historian, Dr. Jan Vansina, is particularly interested in how this story was passed down. He is certain the sounds come from the Mandinka language. A “ko” probably refers to a “kora,” a stringed instrument made from a dried gourd covered with goatskin. “Kamby Bolongo” probably comes from the word...

(The entire section is 582 words.)