So why is Kunta Kinte important you may ask?
The search to learn more about his family’s history led Alex Hayley to write a book and produce a movie known as Roots. The story of Kunta Kinte, begins with Kinte's birth in 1750 in Juffure, Gambia. Captured as a teenager by slave traders he journeys to the United States via the middle passage. This is basically the Atlantic Slave Trade route.
Along the way, many of his companions die of sickness and mistreatment and poor treatment.
After he arrives in the United States, he is bought as a worker for a plantation in Virginia, and is given the name Toby.
Kunta is repeatedly punished for not responding to Toby, and tried to escape several times. When he is caught for the fourth time, his foot is chopped off so that he can no longer run. Kunta is eventually sold off to another owner where he is married to a woman named Kizzy.
When Kizzy is sold, she has a son, named George, by her new master. George becomes "Chicken George, because of his cockfighting skills. He eventually buys his freedom, which paves the way for the rest of the family to live out of slavery.
It's is this lineage that leads up to Alex Haley writing the now famous story of "Roots".