Loyola University presents Kunta Kinteh Island: Coming Home Without Shackles tonight. Ben Vereen stars in the film and will attend the screening. Vereen starred as Chicken George in the 1977 miniseries Roots, which introduced many to the figure Kunta Kinteh, to whom Alex Haley claimed to be related and who became a symbol of what was done to Africans who were enslaved, taken to the United States and resisted severing ties to their homeland.
Kunta Kinteh is said to have been a Mandinka warrior taken from the village of Juffereh in Gambia. St. James Island was a prison/port where many slaves were held before they were transported to the West. Gambia renamed it Kunta Kinteh Island in February 2011. This film, produced and directed by New Orleans native Elvin Ross, dramatizes some scenes as it explores the history of slavery. The film also features Jermaine Jackson and Gambian president Yahya Jammeh.
The film screens at 7 p.m. in Nunemaker Auditorium and a symposium follows.