- Category : 1908-births
- Type : GE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Eden 3
American novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist, an expert in the study of Haitian life. The author of 35 books and plays and numerous scholarly articles, Courlander specialized in the study of African, Caribbean, Afro-American (U.S.), and Native American cultures. He took a special interest in oral literature, cults, and Afro-American cultural connections with Africa.
Courlander wrote seven novels, his most famous being The African, published in 1967. The novel was the story of a slave's capture in Africa, his experiences aboard a slave ship, and his struggle to retain his native culture in a hostile new world. In 1978, Courlander filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, charging that Alex Haley, the author of Roots, had copied 81 passages from his novel. Eventually Courlander and Haley settled the case out of court for $650,000 and a statement that "Alex Haley acknowledges and regrets that various materials from The African by Harold Courlander found their way into his book, Roots."
Harold Courlander died on 15 March 1996, aged 87.