Daily Photo by JOH'
ALEX HALEY, AUTHOR of the best-selling book "Roots," was in Detroit Sunday to speak to the African American Heritage
Association. Here, Haley speaks to reporters at a press conference in Cobo hall.
URGES BLACK ROLE IN AFRICA POLICIES:
Author Haley speaks in Detroit
By RENE BECKER
Blacks should play a more active role in affecting
American foreign policy toward Africa, "Roots" author Alex
Haley said Sunday.
In Detroit to address the second founders' banquet of the
African American Heritage Association, of which he is an
advisor, Haley said in a press conference that blacks should
take "a vocal interest, a writing interest and a demonstrative
interest" in the politics of Africa.
HALEY ALSO SUGGESTED that participation in the
struggle for human rights in Africa not be restricted to
blacks. He said whites should also be concerned with events
in Africa, especially in South Africa.
"What we're looking at in South Africa is an evil," he
said. Haley compared the situation in South Africa to World
War II Germany when Hitler tried to externiinate the Jews.
"Much of the world just sat and watched," he said.
Likewise, Haley said, Americans have the same attitude
about South Africa. "We are letting it happen, and that's all
people - black and white."
HALEY SAID he supports those on college campuses
throughout the country who are asking universities to sell all
investments in corporations which do business in South
Africa. "We are favoring fundamental social and moral
things when we support that cause."
The television series based on Haley's "Roots" broke all
records for audience draw, and he is working on sequel, ten-
tatively titled "The Second Hundred Years."
The new series will consist of seven two-hour segments and
will pick up where the last series left off in the story of
Haley's ancestral history.
HALEY SAID HE wished people would do a " 'Roots' or
equivalent of every ethnic group in the country." He
suggested it would greatly improve relations within the coun-
try between all ethnic groups just as "Roots" has improved
relations between blacks and whites.
"We would tend to be less suspicious, less hostile," of each
other, he said.
Later, speaking to a group of about 30 Detroit high school
students, Haley urged them all to begin recording their
"MOST OF THE history of this country has never been
written," he said. When people die, a part of history which
has never been recorded dies with them, he said.
Haley told the high schoolers to seek out the oldest mem-
bers of their family and record the story of their lives and of
their parents. He told them to gather the artifacts of their
grandparents and look for old trunks which might be filled
with records of their family history.
"And, something that we don't do enough of in this coun-
try - we don't hold enough family reunions," he added.
"That's a precious thing."
Suit tests 'surrogate motherhood'
DETROIT (UPI) - A suburban at-
torney yesterday filed a lawsuit seeking
to clarify the legality of couples paying
a woman to bear the child they are
physically unable to have.
Lawyer Noel Keane already is han-
dling three cases involving such
"surrogate mothers" - women who
agree to be artificially inseminated
with a husband's sperm, bear the child
and then give it to the biological father
and his wife.
THE BABIES have been born in two
of those cases, and the couples are
going through regular adoption
Keane said his suit, filed in Wayne
County Circuit Court, could clear a
legal path around a section of the
state's adoption law that bans paying a
mother to encourage her to give up her
The suit said the provision is "overly
broad and unconstitutional" in cases
involving surrogate mothers, violating
individual rights to privacy, Keane
"WE THINK there are some impor-
tant constitutional issues involved,"
said Keane, who drafted the suit with
attorney Robert Harrison, a con-
"Our contention is that there are cer-
tain private rights of the individual that
the state cannot interfere with unless
they have an adequate interest," he
said. "We don't think they do."
Keane said the suit would not lead to
"baby-selling" or black marketeering
in adoptive children, because it seeks to
circumvent the payment provision only
in cases involving surrogate mothers.
KEANE PLACED advertisements in
area newspapers - including The Daily
- about two years ago offering a fee for
a woman to have a child for a couple he
Following an informal opinion from a
now-retired juvenile court judge,
however, it was decided that the
woman should not be paid- for having
Keane said he hoped the suit would
spark state lawmakers to address the
issue of surrogate motherhood, which
he said is so new that no law in the coun-
try covers it.
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