Thursday, October 19, 2006

Between me and the Motherland

[How ‘bout that pseudo-militant graphic?]

Anyways, the two dedicated readers who’ve been here from the beginning might remember my post on Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates’ documentary, African American Lives, and how I was super impressed by the dna testing he used to trace the ancestry of his celebrity guests. (Quincy Jones is a white man! lol.)

Well, who needs the AP or Reuters newswire when you’ve got my dad? I have yet to scrape together my $550 dollars and dad, ever the pessimist? realist, delivered to my gmailbox this morning the link to this article, which highlights the present state of genetic testing for African Americans. Apparently, a British journal article was published this week that publicly maligned the reputation of the hope of "huddled black masses yearning to breathe free."

a study found that fewer than 10 percent of black Americans whose mitochondrial DNA was identified matched perfectly with a single African ethnic group, and 40 percent had no match.
Friends, countrymen, that is not what I want to hear! In fact, that makes me very sad. The technology has gotten pretty advanced, but not advanced enough. I doubt that my mom’s side of the family would fall in the “no match” category because my maternal grandmother is Cape Verdean. On the paternal side though, God knows what they’ll find. I have yet to hear of freckles originating in Africa…

I can only hope that by the time I have an extra $550 (and $219 for an admixture test), that the technology will have significantly advanced.

If you've got the cash, check out African Ancestry here and Ancestry by DNA (measures all ethnicities) here.

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