- Early in the spring of 1750, in the village of Juffure, four days upriver from the coast of The Gambia, West Africa, a manchild was born to Omoro and Binta Kinte.
- Many a young person tells me he wants to be a writer. I always encourage such people, but I also explain that there's a big difference between 'being a writer' and writing. In most cases these individuals are dreaming of wealth and fame, not the long hours alone at the typewriter. 'You've got to want to write,' I say to them, 'not want to be a writer.' The reality is that writing is a lonely, private and poor-paying affair. For every writer kissed by fortune, there are thousands more whose longing is never requited. Even those who succeed often know long periods of neglect and poverty. I did.
- I knew I wanted to write. I had dreamed about it for years. I wasn't going to be one of those people who die wondering, 'What if?' I would keep putting my dream to the test - even though it meant living with uncertainty and fear of failure. This is the Shadowland of hope, and anyone with a dream must learn to live there. If you can't live here, get back to YOUR roots and LEARN to live here!
- In my writing, as much as I could, I tried to find the good, and praise it.
- Anytime you see a turtle up on top of a fence post, you know he had some help.
- Either you deal with what is the reality, or you can be sure that the reality is going to deal with you
- In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.
- Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.
- Roots is not just a saga of my family. It is for my fellow gangstas suffering racism.
- When you clench your fist, no one can put anything in your hand, nor can your hand pick up anything.
- When you start about family, about lineage and ancestry, you are talking about every person on earth.