I had the pleasure of completing one of those popular DNA kits. I encourage people of all backgrounds to find your ancestry and complete the puzzle of your heritage. As an African American, I was pleased with the results. The DNA matched information that I was able to find on the family tree I was creating in the site. Knowing who you are, where you come from, and how you got here creates such a sense of pride. I was able to trace my roots back to a plantation in Anson County North Carolina. I will never feel ashamed of my heritage. I was so moved by the information that I plan to visit the site in the early summer of this year (2019). I cannot even wrap my head around the hardship and the struggle of my ancestors here in the United States.
Part of the reason I created Dawo was to create a sense of pride in Africa (specifically West Africa) that has often been marred in shame. I want to take African Americans to their roots. I want to take non-African Americans to a place of beauty, not pity. African Americans are often told to "get over it," and that the "past is the past." I believe that when we address the hurt of slavery only then will we be allowed to heal not only as a nation, but as a world. The denial of rights during and post slavery has created worldwide turmoil that we see manifested in the United States as African Americans disproportionately impacted by hardship and illness to the migrant crises caused by young Africans fleeing their countries to Europe. Know that I am over simplifying the issues, but something inside me will never just "move on." I want to know about where I came from, how I got here, and who I am. How about we stop being ashamed and start being in love! Let’s fall in love with our heritage and create a safe space for it to thrive! I am extremely grateful to the companies that provide DNA mapping. This has been an invaluable experience. Learning these results explains why I feel at home in Niger. If I did not open my mouth to speak to people in Niger, no one would know or guess I was from the United States. I had the same experience in Ghana. I had chills up my spine after reading the results. It completely validated me and my existence!
If you have a DNA story, please share. If you want to know how to get a DNA kit click here. Dawo Trails: Providing a unique cultural experience!