Alex Haley’s maternal grandmother told him stories of how his ancestor, Kunta Kinte was brought to America. Haley would later visit Annapolis, Maryland to research his family history. This research would become the backbone for his story Roots. The memorial at the end of the historic City Dock showcases Haley telling his story to future generations.
After the success of Roots as a bestseller and hit tv show, a group of Annapolis citizens recognized the city’s role in the story. A plaque was placed at the end of City Dock, where the slave ship Lord Ligonier would have entered the city in 1767. However, the plaque was stolen within 48 hours. A fundraiser raised enough money to replace it within two months.
The replacement plaque became part of the new Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial, with a statue of Haley telling the story of his ancestor to new generations. The statue was completed in 2002. The Leonard A. Blackshear Walkway is complete with various other plaques and quotes.