dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #738

Kyra Jucovy klj at sccs.swarthmore.edu
Thu Nov 6 19:58:16 EST 2003


This article from my other mailing list is interesting and relevant -
about a black man who got a genetic test and discovered that he had, in
fact, no ancestors of African descent:

http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=16917


						---Kyra

---
"I like it when that lightning comes!  Hey hey hey!!!  Yes, I like it a
lot!"
			---Robert Smith (The Cure), "Hot Hot Hot!!!"

On Thu, 6 Nov 2003, Otter Perry wrote:

> Sarah wrote:
>
> > To my mind who you call 'my people' is more a matter of emotional
> > affiliation and culture than of bloodlines. The majority of black people
> > in the USA have a white ancestor somewhere in their family tree, due in
> > part to the background of slavery and the frequency of master-slave
> > sexual relations or abuse, but the social divide between black and white
> > means that 'mixed race' is seldom seen as a valid or clearly
> > identifiable category by either 'side.'
>
> a propos of this whole thing ---
>
> I had recently moved to Detroit in 1977 when 'Roots' was first
> shown.  [I didn't actually watch it.  Never have watched it.]
>
> It had a huge impact, with lots of African-Americans taking much
> more interest in their ancestry.  One of the most striking realizations
> for _me_ was that my chances of being related to somebody in
> Detroit [other than my immediate family, of course, all immigrants
> from the East Coast of the USA or, in the case of my sister's
> in-laws, from Scotland] were much higher if that person was
> black than if that person was white.  Most of the white population
> is of Middle and Eastern European derivation, and of recent arrival.
> My family is from Germany and the British Isles and the most
> recent wave of immigration was in the mid 1800s.  Older bits
> of my family have been here longer, and, like most African-Americans,
> I'm descended from slave owners.  [_Some_ of them were slave owners.]
>
> In fact, there's a black branch of my family of which I am aware,
> thanks originally to the activities of a great-great uncle who was an
> overseer.  I know this because one of my mother's cousins got
> interested and ended up calling everybody of the family name in
> Wilmington, DE.  [The name is Clash.  Not common.  Believed to be
> an alias adopted by an ancestor who had reason not to keep his own.
> He was a Welshman.]  She got almost 100% hits and all were African-
> American.
>
> And Sally's right.  If you have African ancestry, that tends to
> take precedence, in the view of the world, over any other ancestry.
>
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