Image via Wikipedia
In â€œCalled back to Africa by DNA,â€ journalist Teresa Watanabe highlights the recent surge of interest in the genetic genealogy by African Americans.Â This increased interest is often written about during February, which is Black History Month (see â€œGenetic Genealogy and Black History Monthâ€ from February 2008 and â€œDNA Testing Jumps During Black History Monthâ€ from February 2007).Â Although the LA times article rehashes some of the same issues, it also contributes a number of new points to the conversation.
Among other things, the article mentions several of the projects that focus on African American genetic genealogy, including African Ancestry:
The curiosity has fueled the growth of DNA testing outfits. African Ancestry Inc., a Washington-based firm, has tested the DNA of 15,000 people against its database of 25,000 African genetic lineages, according to its president, Gina M. Paige. The firm’s clients include Winfrey, film director Spike Lee, musician Quincy Jones, comedian Whoopi Goldberg and actors Morgan Freeman and Don Cheadle.
And the African American DNA Roots Project:
Other DNA testers include Bruce A. Jackson, co-director of the African American DNA Roots Project at the University of Massachusetts, who said he is swamped with so many requests that he has stopped taking them until he works through a two-year backlog.
It appears that both projects are doing very well, and adding valuable new information to the diverse genetic ancestry of African Americans.