Roots Character List

Omoro Kinte

Kunta's father.

Binta Kinte

Kunta's mother.


Kunta's 3rd brother.

Kunta Kinte

Alex Haley's ancestor back seven generations. He grew up in Juffure, The Gambia, and was sold into slavery when he was seventeen. As a slave, he is known as "Toby."


Kunta's 2nd brother.


Kunta's 4th brother.

Saloum and Janneh Kinte

Omoro's half-brothers and Kunta's uncles. Legendary travelers.

Nyo Boto

An old woman in Juffure, formerly a slave. She is a midwife and tells children stories.

Grandma Yaisa

Omoro's mother and Kunta's grandmother.

John Waller

Kunta's first master.

William Waller

Kunta's second master, and John Waller's brother. A doctor.

Missy Anne

John Waller's only daughter. Doted upon by her uncle William Waller.  Childhood friend of Kizzy.


A house slave and cook for William Waller.  Kunta's wife.

Kizzy Waller

Kunta and Bell's daughter. Grew up with the Wallers.  Sold to Tom Lea when she was 16.

Tom Lea

Kizzy's new master. Rapes her and fathers Chicken George. A cockfighter who grew up "white trash."

The Fiddler

One of the slaves on William Waller's plantation. A friend of Kunta's.

Boteng Bediako/Pompey

A slave from Ghana.

George Johnson

A poor white boy who becomes the Murrays' overseer.

Martha Johnson

George Johnson's young wife.


Tom Lea's cook.

Sister Sarah

Tom Lea's field slave.

Uncle Pompey

A field slave at Tom Lea's.

Uncle Mungo

The cockfighting trainer at Tom Lea's.

Chicken George

Kizzy's son. Also the illegitimate son of Tom Lea. A renowned cockfighter.


Chicken George's wife.


George and Matilda's oldest son.


George and Matilda's second son.

George (Jr.)

George and Matilda's 3rd son.

Tom Murray

George and Matilda's 4th son. A blacksmith.


Tom Murray's wife. She is half Native American.


George and Matilda's fifth son.


George and Matilda's 6th son.

L'il Kizzy

George and Matilda's 1st daughter.


George and Matilda's 2nd daughter.

Lily Su

Virgil's wife and Uriah's mother.


Virgil's simple-minded son.


Tom and Irene's oldest child.


One of Tom and Irene's daughters.


Tom and Irene's youngest child. Mother of Bertha; grandmother of Alex Haley.


Alex Haley's mother. Married to Simon Haley. The first in her family to go to college.

Will Palmer

Cynthia's husband, and Bertha's father. Owns a lumber mill.

Simon Haley

Alex Haley's father.

Alex Haley

The author; Kunta Kinte's descendant by 7 generations.

J.D. Cates

The county sheriff of Alamance County, where the Murrays live.

Ebou Manga

The Wolof student who guides Alex Haley in the Gambis.

Dr. Jan Vansina

A Belgian linguist who helps Haley discern that Kunta was Mandinka.

Master Murray

The master who buys Tom and family from Tom Lea.