The 30th anniversary of the TV debut of Roots will be marked by an Alex Haley exhibit at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center near Fort Lauderdale. One of the items displayed concerns the ancestry of a television icon.
[A] letter was sent by Johnny Carson on Feb. 11, 1977 -- just days after Haley appeared on The Tonight Show and presented the talk show host with a book about one of his ancestors who was a slave keeper.
"Thank you for the lovely surprise on the show Feb. 2, the reaction was unbelievable," Carson wrote. "I hope that you enjoyed the evening as much as I did." [Link]