Of course, every genealogy hobbyist knows who Alex Haley was. He inspired many Americans to begin tracing their family tree. He also made it okay for a generation of Black Americans to accept their heritage as slaves.
I have always felt a connection to Haley. We share the same birthday, August 11. In addition, many of his ancestors grew up in the same area of Tennessee as my ancestors. I was curious to see if we shared any relatives as I researched my family. We don't. However, we did end up having a very close connection.
My first love was born in Savannah, Tennessee. I have since found out that Savannah is also the birth place of Haley's father. While talking to my boyfriend's uncle about his own numerous romantic escapades in Savannah, one name kept cropping up--Queenie.
The next time I heard that name was years later. About two years ago, I was talking with a new co-worker, sharing bits and pieces of our lives, I was astounded to find out she was also from Savannah, Tennessee. Not only that but that she knew my boyfriend and his uncle very well and the Queenie I heard so much about was her cousin. That is when I found out that Queenie was one of Haley's cousins and so was my co-worker. Queenie is a family name handed down from Haley's great grandmother. Remember the TV follow up to "Roots," "Queen," starring Halle Berry?
So this is my six degrees of separation from Alex Haley. Actually, it's more like two degrees. Sometimes it amazes me how small the world can be at times.