Kunta Kinteh Island is a small river island on the Gambia River, about 30 kilometers from the mouth of the river into the Atlantic. The island was an important point on the journey of slaves from the Black Continent to Europe and the Americas. Since the first contact with the Europeans, the island has changed its name several times, as the rulers have changed. Until 2011, this island was called James Island, after Fort James, whose ruins still stand on the island today. Chaz Guest, an American artist, in 2011 asked Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to rename the island and give it the Gambian name. That is how the island was named Kunta Kinteh after the main character of the 1976 novel Roots by Alex Haley. UNESCO placed this site on the World Heritage Sites list in 2003.