Kunta Kinte at RootsTech 2017

In April 1977, along with several million other Australians, I sat glued to local television over six nights watching the Alex Haley mini-series Roots.

While the show would go down in history as the first-ever blockbuster mini-series, for me it forged my strong passion for family history – something I had actually started the previous year when I had begun questioning my grandmother about her Scottish origins.

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton

Starring as the young Kunta Kinte in 1977 was American actor LeVar Burton. Burton later went on to portray the role of chief engineer Geordi La Forge in the iconic Star Trek: The Next Generation television series, as well as hosting the PBS children’s series, Reading Rainbow, which ran from 1983 to 2009.

I find it quite ironic that in February 1977, 40 years on from Roots,  LeVar Burton will be the Friday keynote speaker at RootsTech – and I will be there to hear him!

Quoting from the FamilySearch announcement yesterday, Burton said:

The story of Roots traces a family’s journey from Africa to America and back. At RootsTech, I’ll share some of my own journey of family, storytelling and the influence of African culture on my American Experience.