JERUSALEM (Sep. 8)
Alex Haley, author of the best seller, “Roots,” was awarded an honorary degree by the Hebrew University in recognition of the special significance his book has for the Jewish people. He ends his week-long visit to Israel tomorrow. “Roots” is the account of Haley’s search for his ancestry in Black Africa.
He said, in accepting the fellowship, that “it spoke to all those who have suffered persecution and have been discriminated against.” The author, a descendant of slaves in the American South, said he found parallels between the plight of Jews in history and that of Black Africans who were sold into slavery. “Both have proven that by courage and perseverance they can surmount whatever difficulties they encounter,” he said.
During his stay in Israel Haley met with President Ephraim Katzir, who he described as a “grand old patriarch who spoke with such emotion when describing the roots of Israel.” He met with other officials and toured the country. Last Sunday he planted a tree in the Jerusalem Forest, escorted there by Mayor Teddy Kollek.