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Parenting with a Story by Paul Smith

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TWENTY-TWO

Forgiveness and Gratitude

Never ruin an apology with an excuse.

—BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

In 1976, Alex Haley published his Pulitzer Prize–winning book Roots: The Saga of an American Family. The story chronicles the history of Haley’s ancestors, starting in 1767 when an African man, Kunta Kinte, was kidnapped in Gambia, brought to the United States, and sold into slavery. A year after the book was published, it was adapted as a television miniseries that reached a record 130 million viewers. I watched the entire series from the gymnasium floor along with my entire sixth-grade class. It was brutally realistic in its depiction of life as a slave. In one particularly horrific scene, his master repeatedly whipped Kunta Kinte because he refused ...

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