I’m a African, word to Dead Prez. Sorry, I couldn’t resist…
We all know that most Black people from the Caribbean and the United States are the descendants of West African slaves. A lot of us don’t know what countries we’re from but that has starting changing in recent years. I began hearing about people getting DNA analyses explaining where their ancestors came from and always knew it was something I wanted to do.
I didn’t get really serious until I began following an OkayAfrica series where they traced the roots of various celebrities from Q-Tip to Michael K. Williams, and more. I mentioned it to my hubby and he surprised me with DNA tests from Ancestry.com. It’s a simple process. They send you a kit, you send back a saliva sample and then you wait for about six weeks. My results were an estimate but still fascinating, because the analysis is done keeping ethnic migration and blending into account. The break down of my convoluted results is that I am primarily of the Ivory Coast/Ghana Ashanti people, but there were also traces of Benin/Togo, South Central Hunter-Gatherers, Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Congo and even some European (Great Britain, Ireland and the general Western Europe area) in my blood. By percentage my blood is 90% African.
Part of why my DNA seems all over the place is because the people in some parts of West Africa (seemingly moreso the parts outside of Ivory Coast and Ghana in my case) are admixed, and we all know what happened during the New World, Middle Passage Saga, but I digress. I’m elated to have more of an idea where my ancestors are from because people have asked me my entire life, if I was either Nigerian, Ghanaian or Senegalese (those were the top three). I usually get Nigerian the most so I’m surprised that more of my blood was traced to Ghana (for the record, my father has Jamaican roots).
There are a few companies out there that provide this service, some more thorough than others. The company that OkayAfrica uses seems to traces roots by parent, whereas the company I used gives you a general overview (unless you pay for a personal researcher), like I said. My mom decided to do a test as well so I can’t wait to see her results and put things in better perspective. I’d also love to do it again one day with a different company but at least I got the basics out of the way, and more things about me make sense. Like… I love AfroBeat and African music in general. You don’t have to be African to enjoy African tunes because good music is good music but I swear it speaks to my soul. The sounds of the djembe especially bring me joy and peace akin to that of meditation. I like Nollywood movies, but that could just be because I am highly amused by cheesy b-movies (just search for “Blaxploitation Friday” on this site).
I also dance like this on occasion (as in, a lot):
These are probably my cousins:
I’m extremely athletic, naturally (that’s that warrior/hunter-gatherer blood lol). If I applied myself I’d be looking like storm out here! However, instead, I under eat and binge on sugar and salt so, womp womp. But look at the right gun in the following pic. This is on a workout hiatus, too:
I was made for the sun.
I chose to get married at the Akwaaba Mansion.
And then there’s the international hoodrat stuff that I enjoy like, “Uncle Obama.”
You get the point.
In the words of Dead Prez, “I’m a African.”
Feeling some “Ghana Emotion” by way of Omar.
Praying for “2,000 Blacks” to be free because, Roy Ayers and Fela Kuti said so.
All I need is a trip to the Western part of the Motherland to set this ancestry thing off right! I might just break down into tears when I step off the plane.
Where are your people from?