Coronation Street bosses apologise for character’s ‘racist’ Kunta Kinte comment after complaints from viewers
“I’ve got more roots than Kunta Kinte!”
That’s a great joke. Kunta Kinte was a made up character falsely presented as real by Alex Haley in the infamous “Roots”. Haley was charged with and forced to settle a plagiarism lawsuit after vast swaths of the book were found to have been stolen from the work of author Harold Courlander.
Please see – Alex Haley: The Lance Armstrong of Literature
“…The [Courlander] settlement got precious little media attention. Only the Washington Post gave the case any ink of note, and even then it used a local hook — “Bethesda Author Settles ‘Roots’ Suit for $500,000” — to justify its coverage. Like the other media who bothered to report on the settlement, the Post neglected to explore the real gist of the scandal: namely that the author of a “nonfiction” Pulitzer Prize-winning book plagiarized from a fictional one.
In the late 1970s, unaware of the plagiarism rap, two leading genealogists, Gary Mills and Elizabeth Shown Mills, decided to follow up on Haley’s work through the relevant archives in Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland. They found that Haley’s transgressions went well beyond mere mistakes. “We expected ineptitude, but not subterfuge,” observed Elizabeth, herself the editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.
In fact, as the Millses discovered, the man that Haley identifies as Kunta Kinte, a slave by the name of Toby, could not have been Kunta Kinte or Haley’s ancestor. Toby was in America as early as 1762, five years before his ship was alleged to arrive. Worse for Haley, Toby died eight years before his presumed daughter Kizzy was born.”