I had been wanting to do AncestryDNA for a long time! I am so happy I did this and it truly has been an awesome experience. My favorite part was definitely creating my family tree. I was able to find a photo of my great grandparents (scroll down!) that no one had seen before, as well as my great-great-grandfathers draft card! Scroll about halfway down to see my results (I also have a discount for anyone who wants to do their AncestryDNA for the low; scroll down to the bottom of this post).
Note: I will not water down our country’s history for anyone’s comfort. I feel like if I have a platform (small as it may be), I’m here to tell the truth on issues such as this. That being said…
As African-Americans, we hear our White peers speak about “Oh my family, in this specific year, came from this country or that country.” The only thing, as African Americans, that we know for sure, is that our ancestors were kidnapped, chained, shackled and brought to America by brutal force under horrendous conditions. My ancestors were stolen from their homes, forbidden to practice their own religions and customs, and forced to give up their names. In the tragedies that followed, they were sold, separated, and murdered, men, women, and infants alike, destroying all opportunity to answer the simple question: where did we come from?
We knew our ancestors were kidnapped from Africa, yes, but Africa is a continent, not a country, comprised of more than four dozen countries. What my grandparents did know was that after slavery, their parents migrated to St. Louis, Missouri from Mississpi and Louisiana in hopes of fleeing racial oppression. But as brother James Baldwin already told us, there was no real difference in being Black in the south and being Black in the north; they may choose to castrate you differently, but it is still castration. My Grandmothers tell me stories of what being integrated into the White schools, after segregation in schools became illegal in 1954, was like: “The White parents and their children spat at us as we got off the busses…it was the worst experience my life. It made me so angry.” 1954 was not that long ago.
Through my Ancestry DNA results, my family can at least put a finger on the map and say, we already knew our strength, as evidenced through the survival of a 246 year genocide, but now we also know where we began!
The pie chart below is my actual pie chart. That is my DNA broken down by country of origin, with each color representing a different country. I won’t bore you with a complete breakdown, which is made up of nine different nationalities, but I will share a “top three,” so to speak:
The result I am most excited about:
37% Cameroon (the yellow on my pie chart). I have a lot of friends who are first- generation-American born-African immigrants and they all kept guessing I would be majority Nigerian. When the result came back majority Cameroonian I was blown away! Note: It is very common for most African-Americans to trace their origins back to Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, etc due to the fact that the slave trade was mainly West African based.
The result I am most surprised by:
28% Benin/Togo (the green on my pie chart). I had never even heard of Benin and Togo before my results!
The result I am least surprised by:
12% England/Wales. Being African -American (emphasis on the hyphen), although there are no White family members that I can name, having been in this country for centuries, and the countless slave women whom were regularly raped by their “Masters”, mixing of the races is no surprise. According to my DNA results, my full total of “White” is 14%.
My husband did his Ancestry, too!
The result my husband is most surprised by: 28% Cameroon (yellow color on the pie chart)
The result my Husband is most excited about: Being Cameroonian!
The result he is least surprised by: He has a total of 32% “White.” (aqua green color to the left of the pie chart)
My husband’s result that most excites me: His two largest percentages are the same as mine! I think it’s so cool that we, mostly, come from the same place 🙂
Thanks for reading my ramble, guys 🙂
You can get 15% off when you do your Ancestry.com DNA, only through my affiliate link: http://refer.dna.ancestry.com/s/heytaemama
Check out August’s most popular blog post here.