African Ancestry Test

Through Heritage Testing, African Americans discover details about ethnic history that other groups take for granted.
Jared Rosenthal
Published on

Do you know your lineage? Were your ancestors Irish, German, or perhaps French? In the cultural and genetic melting pot we now know as the United States of America, people have for years taken great interest in their lineage as many families define their traditions and behavioral tendencies by their genetic roots. Those of us who have a taste for one thing or another might say, “It’s from my Irish roots”, or, “It’s just the Italian in me.” Some individuals take the practice much further by spending large amounts of personal resources tracing their lineage as far back as possible, sometimes even beyond the Renaissance era. Whether in casual jest or in keen interest, people often innately have a strong desire to know where they came from. African Americans, many of whose ancestors were brought here against their will, are certainly no exception.

Whoopie Goldberg Finds Her Roots

With developments in the modern DNA test, many prominent and influential African Americans have made history by being the firsts to utilize these methods to ascertain details about their ancestors’ origins. In the famous 2-season PBS miniseries, African American Lives, many celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Whoopie Goldberg, and Morgan Freeman, among others, have publicly revealed their roots. These remarkable findings included not only information about their African ancestry, but also many hidden secrets about their forbearers in the United States before the abolition of slavery.

Though this technology was initially only available to the wealthy, it is now becoming increasingly affordable and more accessible to ordinary people. Ancestry tests give you the opportunity to solve personal mysteries about your predecessors and to discover many other hidden secrets about your roots, such as whether or not other ethnic groups also intermingled in the bloodlines that you thought you came from.

Ability to Trace Roots is Restored

Communities whose ethnic history was seemingly lost for hundreds of years had long given up all hope of ever knowing their true heritage. Amazingly and at long last, answers to a life-long curiosity are right at their fingertips. Though heritage testing may at first seem trivial and superficial, many people who have undergone the process claim to experience a stronger sense of self than they once had. In a society that champions equality and opportunity for all, one might ask, if we are all equal, then, “Who cares where we came from?” On the other hand, some people have had the ability to know their ethnic roots, and others have had that right forcibly taken away from them. Now, at long last, DNA testing has leveled the playing field.

WRITTEN BY

Jared is the Founder of Health Street, the creator of the Who's Your Daddy DNA truck, and the host of VH1's Swab Stories.

WRITTEN BY

Jared is the Founder of Health Street, the creator of the Who's Your Daddy DNA truck, and the host of VH1's Swab Stories.

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DNA Testing

Read Health Street's dramatic and informative DNA testing stories.

FEATURED IN

DNA Testing

Read Health Street's dramatic and informative DNA testing stories.