Roots: The Saga of an American Family Chapter 69 Summary

Alex Haley

Chapter 69 Summary

Kunta despises the fact that Missy Anne is enamored of Kizzy. Missy Anne now visits her uncle twice a week just so she can spend hours playing with Kunta’s daughter. Meanwhile, the four-year-old Missy Anne keeps exclaiming, “Cain’t she be mine?” Ironically, Bell smiles at Missy Anne’s treatment of Kizzy. Despite Kunta's fear and anger, Bell knows that a close connection between Missy Anne and Kizzy could very well end up keeping the family together. Kunta, however, simply wishes that his master would get married so that he wouldn’t be so involved with his niece. Kunta notices that there are quite a few of Master Waller’s female patients who aren’t sick at all; they simply want the doctor's attention. Still, William Waller never seems to choose another wife.

On the days Missy Anne isn’t visiting, Bell and Kunta enjoy watching Kizzy go through the various baby stages that any doting parent finds amusing. They particularly enjoy watching Kizzy crawl along the floor of their cabin with her backside high in the air. However, Kunta finds himself full of disgust again when Missy Anne returns and beckons Kizzy to follow her wherever she goes. Kizzy is thrilled with the new game and happily follows Missy Anne around the plantation, much to Kunta Kinte’s chagrin.

Bell tries to calm Kunta Kinte’s fears by telling her husband a story. She tells Kunta about a master’s child whose mother died in childbirth. The child, having no mother of her own, was nursed by a slave who also had a child of the exact same age. The two children, one black and one white, grew up together “almost” as siblings. As they grew, the two girls became inseparable. When the master married again, the new wife was set against the two children being close friends. The wife sold the slave child along with her mother. Meanwhile, the master’s child made herself gravely ill until Master Waller told the couple that the slave child had to be returned for the master’s child to live. Since then, the two young ladies never left each other’s side. They were so devoted to one another that neither one ever got married.

Kunta finds it ironic that this story, told to encourage positive feelings about friendships between blacks and whites, actually makes the opposite case: The slave child grows up so beholden to her mistress that she never marries or has children of her own.