I fell for the whole thing [in 1977], including the flapdoodle about it being the result of Haley’s researches into his family history. In fact he made much of it up out of whole cloth—and stole at least some of the rest. (…)
Let me repeat, please: I am really ashamed I fell for this stuff. Eighteenth-century white slavers didn’t venture further into West Africa than they had to because (a) they were terrified of the diseases, and (b) they didn’t need to, Africans being only too willing to sell their own people for a bag of glass beads. Why wouldn’t they be? Slavery was the norm in Africa.
In parts of Africa, it still is. A 2012 report from CNN says that ten to twenty percent of the population of Mauritania lives in slavery. I wonder if that got a White House screening?