DNA Testing Jumps During Black History Month


With the arrival of Black History Month and following on the heels of PBS’s popular series ‘African American Lives’, increasing numbers of African Americans are deciding to explore the world of DNA testing and genetic genealogy. As a result many newspapers and magazines are taking the opportunity to introduce their readers to this increasingly popular avenue of genealogical research.

The Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colorado is currently three articles into a six-part series examining the role and effect of genetic genealogy in African American research [Thanks to Genealogy Reviews Online]:

Saturday, 17 February 2007 (Two articles, here and here).
Monday, 19 February 2007
Tuesday, 20 February 2007
Wednesday, 21 February 2007
Thursday, 22 February 2007
Friday, 23 February 2007

Fortune Magazine published an article, ‘Tracing African Roots Through DNA’, on February 16th in which the author uses the DNA testing firm African Ancestry to analyze his mtDNA and Y chromosome. The article also describes the (positive) psychological effects the results have on himself and his family.

Another magazine, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education has an older article, ‘Regaining a Lost Heritage‘. The author of this article also tests her mtDNA through African Ancestry. Interestingly, the author cites Dr. Bruce A. Jackson, Co-director of the African-American DNA Roots Project at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Dr. Jackson explains his skepticism of African Ancestry’s ability to pinpoint a person’s mtDNA or Y chromosome ancestry to a single ethnic or geographic group because the databases are still so small. African Ancestry, however, contends that their DNA database is 5 times larger than any other comparable databases.

5 Responses

  1. Cliff 30 January 2009 / 12:40 am

    I believe that these tests are fairly accurate despite the fact of it being a new science.

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