I am a firm believer in DNA. I think it is God’s gift to man, criminology, genealogy, science and specifically African Americans. I say this for a few reasons. DNA and genealogy are helping to solve cold cases. Long forgotten cases are being reopened thanks to DNA and genealogy. The feds have figured out how to link criminals to crimes using the DNA of their relatives. No doubt this is the best thing to happen to the criminal justice system since the discovery of DNA.
For me and millions of other African Americans DNA has given us a new way of researching and finding our past. As many of you should know, African Americans are the descendants of slaves brought to the United States via slave ships on the transatlantic slave trade. If we’re being honest African Americans don’t really have any real ties to Africa or any real claim to any type of ancestral history outside of the United States….or at least that’s the way it has been for a very long time.
I would call African Americans displaced (i.e., people who don’t have a homeland) but then some of us consider the United States our home….after all, African Americans literally built this fucking country. Even still, some of us desire to know more about ourselves than what we’ve been told, and want is carried on through the generations via oral family history. We know our history didn’t begin with slavery in America. We also know certain groups on both sides of the ocean wish we would forget this little FACT and simply call ourselves Americans. Needless to say, DNA has given African Americans the evidence to tell both groups to fuck all the way off.
I’m a lover of genealogy. It’s one of my many passions. When ancestry introduced their DNA platform I jumped at the opportunity to find out where my ancestors might have originated in the world. I jumped at the chance to discover my ethnicity outside of being African American. In 2014 this is what ancestry told me my DNA looked like….
When I got my DNA results I accepted them at face value. It’s been said African Americans are of west African descent and per my DNA results I was pretty much a mixed bag of west African countries. It even proved at some point that a white man likely raped his way into my family tree. The only thing I found surprising is that the white ancestry was so small….as I am I caramel-skinned light hazel eyed black woman.
Fast forward to 2018…
Today just because I was bored (and at home from work due to lack of energy and insomnia) I decided to take another look at my ancestry DNA. A message popped up on the screen indicating ancestry added thousands of DNA samples from people living on the African continent and as a result my ancestry DNA results had been updated. They now look like this…
The majority of my ethnicity has now jumped from west Africa to central Africa with sprinkles of west African countries like Ghana. I know the countries and borders in Africa are man-made creations. I know people migrate all the time. What I don’t understand is how I went from 39% Nigerian to 1% Nigerian. I’m neither mad nor upset about this new finding….just baffled.
When I think of West Africa I think of Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Sierra Leone, Liberia etc.
If the above DNA is to be believed then this idea that African Americans are ONLY from west African countries is complete bullshit. My new DNA is putting my ethnicity among groups in central Africa. Maybe this explains why the story of the people of Rwanda touched me so much. I don’t know, but to be clear I do not look like neither the Tutsi people nor the Hutu people. If anything I think I’m a combination of both.
I read somewhere that West Africans began to migrate into central Africa to escape slave traders. Maybe my people started in West Africa and moved east.
If that isn’t baffling enough, apparently I’m 1% Native American and that Native American ancestry comes from South America….not the United States…
What’s not surprising is my white ancestry. It increased 1% with the new DNA. I’m apparently 9% English and 3% Irish/Scottish.
I can’t wholesale say that I have my doubts about Ancestry DNA. After all, my first cousin who lives in Alabama took the same test and she is showing up on my profile as my first cousin. There are several 2nd and 3rd cousins I know who are showing up as well. However, this new information has basically made me second guess some things. I just wonder if there is a DNA test out there that can precisely direct me to a tribe from which I descend?