Alex Haley’s first book, The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965), came out of a series of interviews he conducted with the civil rights leader for Playboy Magazine. His second novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family (1976), was a fictionalized version of his own family’s history going back seven generations.
Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island on July 20, 1933. When he was four years old, his family moved to Knoxville, where his father, Charles, worked as a lawyer for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Cormac would reside off and on in Knoxville for the next 30+ years.
Yolanda Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni, Jr. was born in Knoxville on June 7, 1943. Her family soon moved to Cincinnati, but Nikki returned to Knoxville every summer to visit her grandparents at 400 Mulvaney Street (now Hall of Fame Drive). In 1958, Nikki returned to Knoxville, living with her grandparents and attending Austin High School on Vine Avenue (now Vine Middle Magnet School).