69 pages 2 hours read

Alex Haley

Roots: The Saga of an American Family

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1976

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Chapters 54-83Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 54 Summary

Kunta’s stones reveal that he is 20 years old, and he decides to participate at Christmas. Kunta feels closest to Fiddler and spends two months talking with him. Fiddler says he was in North Carolina with a different white man who drowned, and Fiddler left to live with nearby Indigenous communities before coming to Waller’s plantation. Fiddler says he has known other Black men like Kunta, who think African Americans should be more like people in Africa, but many of the Black people in America do not know about African cultures.

Chapter 55 Summary

The gardener explains that only one-third of white people enslave people, while the other two-thirds are poor and like to hurt Black people. The gardener is very old and used to be strong, and Waller bought him for light work. Kunta knows the gardener is Wolof, but the gardener comments that they should not speak about Africa to avoid punishment. Kunta asks Bell about Waller, and Bell explains that he was married to a woman named Priscilla, who died giving birth to a daughter who also died. Kunta tells Bell that she looks like an attractive Mandinka woman, but Bell ridicules Kunta for being African.

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By Alex Haley

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