Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it...

Just a quick hit.  Listening to NPR (as I can often be found doing while working tirelessly at my desk) and the topic of digital and DNA geneology came up.  As African-Americans in this country we have a very unique and lamentable position as far as history goes, in that there was a concerted governmental effort to wipe out our connection with our past that lasted around 400 years.  Slavery means more than just whips and chains and beatings, from which most people can recover.  It is the loss of connection with the past, with ancestry, with the stories and fables and wisdom of culture that we, as a people, are still struggling mightily to overcome even till this day.  One might even argue that our susceptibility to adopting corporate and media images as culture has it's roots in this lack of historic and familial base.  But what I want to mention is a website www.africanancestry.com which has genetic tests to trace back your geneology to specifc places in Africa and specific tribal groups living in the area.  Personally, I am all for this and if you can pony up the money, I believe it's well worth it.  But I'll have to do some investigation just to make sure this place is on the up and up.  Perhaps, if it is, I will introduce it to the fam at the Reunion in LA and see what they think, if they havent done it already.  Of all the things that I've desired to give Camille, a sense of family history and cultural identity are the things I've wanted the most and feared I wouldn't be able to give.  Now, I might have the chance.  If you've got any other geneological stories or tips, hit me up and lemme know
 
Benticore
Out

4 comments:

DK said...

Jag off.

Daimushi said...

It's a good idea, we addressed it in Pre-European African History class. My teacher did point out though, that it's only a good idea if you are willing to give up any preconcieved notions you have about yourself and your lineage. There are numerous reports of people who believed that they were descended from Eithoipa or Egypt who went in for this testing to find that everything they had believed and cherished was false. You can choose to research your maternal of paternal line, and many other people have done this testing only to find out that their paternal line comes from Northern Europe. So. I'm not naysaying, I think the hunt for truth is great. Screw that, KNOWING is wonderful. But only if you can deal with whatever truth you discover.

Aeshema the Fury said...

People who get upset because they find out that their ancestry isn't a straight line back to Africa and feel that that somehow makes them less black make baby jesus cry...

Daimushi said...

I would have to agree. If you're strong, who gives a fuck. Sometimes that strength is only a facade however. You have to be strong in your identity to face up to both the good and the bad.