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Family Reunion Forum

Pride builds when families hold reunions

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 17 Jul 2005

Remember "Roots"?

Alex Haley's book which chronicled generations of descendants of a slave named Kunta Kinte was made into an enormously popular TV miniseries. After it aired, American families, black, white and brown, started to show a keener interest in distant cousins and long-dead ancestors.

Before the "Roots" phenomenon, extended families had tended to come together only for weddings and funerals with funerals the larger draw. But Haley helped to make an institution of the reunion of extended family. It's now a lively summer ritual, with its own customs and rhythms, serviced by a business sector of budget hotels, tour buses and caterers. . . . Black Americans are especially drawn to those family gatherings because the official record has neglected to tell so much of our story.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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