Black People : African Ancestry & DNA Tests: The Results

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Aqil, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    "We now know that our ancestors brought something with them that not even the slave trade could take away: their own distinctive strands of DNA. And because their DNA has been passed down to us - their direct descendants - it just might be the key that unlocks our African past." (Henry Louis Gates, head of the Department of African and African-American Studies at Harvard University)

    Last night's concluding part of "African-American Lives" on PBS was fascinating, as it answers a key question: "Where do I come from?" They had researchers from African Ancestry, University of Maryland, Pennsylvania State University, and Cambridge University do the DNA tests of genetic strands. There were three tests: an admixture test to give an overview of how African, European, Asian, etc. folks were (Mark Shriver, a white population geneticist at Penn State, talked about how surprised he had been by his own test - which had come back 86% European, 11% sub-Saharan African, and 3% Native American - and how his mother wanted him to stop publicizing these results). Then to test for specific African ancestry, two more tests were done: a mitochondrial DNA test that traces the matrilineal line (mother to grandmother to great-grandmother, and so forth). The Y chromosome test is only done on males - women must get a male relative to do it - and traces the patrilineal line. The conclusions for some of the more famous case studies:

    Oprah Winfrey: The billionaire talk show host said that she didn't believe that she had any European or Native American ancestors. Her admixture test showed her ancestry to be 89% sub-Saharan African, 8% Native American, 3% East Asian (researchers said that Native American ancestral traces show up here too), and 0% European. Henry Louis Gates told Oprah that, no, her other test results didn't show Zulu ancestry, as she has claimed (and she had to take a breather). She descends from the Kpelle people (who cluster in the Guinea Highlands of what is now central Liberia and Guinea), the Bamileke people (who cluster in modern-day Cameroon), and a Bantu tribe in Zambia. I hope Oprah travels there, and does a show about these findings. Let us not forget that in the previous installment, Ms. Winfrey - born to unwed parents in rural Mississippi - discovered that an ancestor owned land after the Civil War, and had a school for black children on it (and she broke into tears upon hearing the news).

    Quincy Jones: Mr. Jones' admixture test showed his ancestry to be 66% sub-Saharan African, 34% European, and 0% Native American. Given family stories, the music producer was surprised that he had no Native American ancestors, and shocked at the high percentage of European ancestry (the average for black Americans is 20%). His Y chromosome test - which traces the patrilineal line - showed only European lineage and no African match (not unusual as apparently 3 out of 10 Y chromosome tests for black Americans reveal European ancestry). His mitochondrial test - which traces the matrilineal line - connected him to the Tikar tribe, who cluster in present-day Cameroon. And apparently the Tikar people are famous for their music and artistic genius, hence no surprise given Jones' prowess in the music industry.

    T.D. Jakes: The famous minister's Y chromosome test showed him to be of Igbo descent (clustered in what is now Nigeria). He was the only one of the nine famous guinea pigs to correctly guess his African ancestry.

    Whoopi Goldberg: Her admixture test revealed her ancestry to be 92% sub-Saharan African, 8% European, and 0% Native American (which meant that family stories about having such ancestry were untrue). The comedienne/actress descends from the Papel and Bayote tribes, who mainly cluster in modern-day Guinea-Bissau. Apparently, these were popular tribes in the slave trade.

    Mae Jemison: The first black female astronaut to go into space (who is light-skinned) had no discernible European ancestry in her admixture test. Out of all the famous guinea pigs, I expected her test to come back with the most mixed ancestry. Not so. Her ancestry reveals her to be 84% sub-Saharan African descent, 13% East Asian, and 3% Native American. Researchers were unable to find a conclusive match for her in terms of a specific African tribe. Researchers explained her high East Asian ancestry (for black Americans) to the fact that Chinese laborers were sent to Mississippi - her family's ancestral state - in the late 1800s, so apparently one of her great-grandfathers may have been such a laborer. She was surprised to be of Asian descent (I wasn't...has she looked at her eyes?), although she indicated that people had told her such during her travels to Asia. She figured that it was just traces of Native American ancestry.

    Chris Tucker: The comic's admixture test came back 83% sub-Saharan African, 10% Native American, and 7% European. He guessed that he was descended from a tribe in modern-day Ghana. His Y chromosome test was the most intriguing of the group: it linked him to the Mbundu tribe, who inhabit modern-day central Angola. In fact, the DNA link was so strong that researchers said it was within the last eight generations...which is rare (researchers were only able to trace his family tree to the 1830s, and you may recall how one of his fascinating relatives kept selling plots of land to keep it in black hands during the Jim Crow Era). Apparently 1 in 4 U.S. slaves came from what is now the Congo-Angola region. Mr. Gates accompanied Mr. Tucker on a trip to Angola, where they visited a village in the region where the Mbundu people cluster (and folks were very excited to see him, did a homecoming celebration for him, and a village elder/griot talked about how they had heard stories about people disappearing during the slave trade).

    Henry Louis Gates: The head of Harvard University's African And African-American Studies department had an interesting family history. Researchers traced his family tree back to the American Revolution (where a relative fought). His admixture test revealed his ancestry to be 50% sub-Saharan African, 50% European, and 0% Native American. Like Quincy Jones, his Y chromosome test revealed only European ancestry (in common with British and Dutch males). His mitochondrial DNA test also revealed European ancestry (in common with French and Irish) - and it is very rare for black Americans to reveal European blood on the woman's (mitochondrial) side, so there is definitely a creepin' story there - with weak traces of ancestry from modern-day Egypt. No sub-Saharan ancestry. To help trace his sub-Saharan African ancestry, researchers took his 50% DNA strand that was African and compared it to African individuals. The result came closest (but not definitely) to the Mende people, who cluster mostly in modern-day Sierra Leone, as well as Liberia.

    http://bookerrising.blogspot.com/2006/02/african-ancestry-dna-tests-results.html
     
  2. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This is some amazing information!!!

    Re: Quincy Jones...his DNA explains his penchant for Caucasian females...
    Re: Whoopi Goldberg...I heard her say that her mother was Jewish!!
    Re: Henry Louis Gates...like Quincy, his Y chromosome test revealed only European ancestry, and his wife is Caucasian!
     
  3. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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  4. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This again challenges the notion that "race is a social construct".
     
  5. Riada

    Riada Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    "(Mark Shriver, a white population geneticist at Penn State, talked about how surprised he had been by his own test - which had come back 86% European, 11% sub-Saharan African, and 3% Native American - and how his mother wanted him to stop publicizing these results)."


    Pan, I thought this article SUPPORTED the notion that race IS a social construct. The white geneticist's racial mixture blows that old "one drop" rule away because he is 11% sub-Saharan African. He's definitely very Black by the one-drop rule, yet he is considered white.

    As more and more of this testing goes on, I think it will change the way race is seen TOTALLY.
     
  6. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The one drop rule is garbage, and it always has been. It was created by whites (supported by both whites and blacks) to skirt around the consequences of race mixing; and its promotion is mean to destroy the cultural and racial identify of the black community. Proving that many people are of mixed race, doesn't discount the reality of race....it simply means that many people are mix of different races. However if there was no such thing as race, and if race wasn't a reality, then test like these would not be possible.
     
  7. Riada

    Riada Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I know that the one-drop rule is old garbage, but the defintion of race IN THIS COUNYRY is based on that old garbage. Since the testing is blowing that definition away, I'm just wondering what will replace it as the new defintion of race. Just thinking out loud here, but will it just be a matter of choice for a person like Henry Louis Gates or even Quincy Jones to choose which race they want to belong to? I think as more of the testing goes one, some "Black" people in this country are going to be made very uncomfortable. I' know I'm not ready for my test results this morning.
     
  8. I-khan

    I-khan Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    1. Mitocondrial DNA (mtDNA) tests are useful in determining the maternal side of inheritance.
    2. Admixture tests, as with mtDNA and Y-chromosome tests use genetic markers. Markers are parts of some chromosomes. So they are the little picture as opposed to the big picture which would be the total genome. Markers are unique to linage. This linage could be race, subrace, minirace or even families.
    3. Besides mtDNA there are Y-chromosome tests which are the male version of mtDNA. They use the male-only portion of the Y chromosome to find other genetic markers and so trace only paternal ancestry.

    In general, these techniques are good and getting better but they still only give us beacons for tracing ancestry not everything.
     
  9. Therious

    Therious Banned MEMBER

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    I saw this documentary. was great, chris tucker was as serious as ive ever seen him. to actully see him go to angola ws great.
     
  10. melinin

    melinin New Member MEMBER

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    african ancestry test

    i do not understand why black people keep letting whites define us,or tell us
    what or who they think we are.I bet you anything that if their results
    for the clowns that let themselfs be lab rats were differnt,such as chris
    tucker having 20% chinese ,he would have belived it and these white boys
    then would have this bro thinking he had chinese blood in him.

    Come on people think!.If they would have told all of them that they were
    from the ooga booga tribe in uganda(which is no such people)not one
    of them would have asked a probing question,just went with it and
    thought that that they were related.You have to remember that they
    have did genetic test that proved we were less intelligent,more criminal
    minded,prone to rape and and have more ape in us,so if we dont belive
    that stuff why would you take their word for this dna testing?

    To tell you the truth i think they did this testing just to do further testing
    on black people.It might sound like a conspiracy theroy but we are
    taking about white scientist.(as a foot note during aparthide a south
    african scientist claimed before south africa was liberated,he and doctors
    from the us and israel were working on a virus that would steralize only
    the black women in that country).Thank god they didnt finish yet?

    The source of that info came from the truth and reconcelliation transcripts.
    In conclusion the only thing those lab rats found out was how to get
    tricked into giving up your DNA.DUMMIES!!!
     
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