Alex Haley Statue
Backstory and Context
Alex Haley was a renowned author and Civil Rights activist. His career first began with his notable Playboy interviews. These interviews allowed him to meet notable African American figures such as Sammy Davis Jr., Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X. His first novel was "The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As told by Alex Haley". This novel gave both Haley and Malcolm an even wider audience as it quickly rose to the best sellers list.
Haley's most notable work was in his novel "Roots". The novel traced the history of Africans who were brought to America as slaves and follows the family until they are freed. This series became incredibly popular and was turned into a television series.
This 13 foot bronze statue of Haley depicts him reading. Because it is so close to the playground, it appears that he is giving his knowledge to the next generation. Haley's work has been translated into almost 40 languages and because of his popularity and historical significance, the park continues to be a destination for tourists and historians in Knoxville.