exploring my dna: part 1

so i took the bait. i’m getting a dna test. i’m excited and terrified, looking forward and also pretty nervous (worried even?)…

what i’m excited for is the possibility to “know” when my ancestors are from. i’m excited to be able to begin to know a culture that isn’t american (because what is america other than stolen land and broken promises?) that i am of.

i’m terrified because of what i might find and what that may lead me to eventually. if i go super deep and feel like i need to move, would i be ready to do that? i know that’s taking it pretty far, but who knows, right?

i’m looking forward to the process, both of seeing the results and to exploring roots i don’t currently know i have. i’m also looking forward to be thinking through this process out loud with a dear friend, andrea. we’re doing this in parallel.

i’m nervous about the potential heartbreak and hurt that may happen. already i’ve returned the 23andme test because i’ve read reviews that describe poor/very unlikely results for people of color. at some point last year, a very small number of people with roots outside of the united states had taken that test. that means that their dataset from which to draw was really small and highly likely to be inaccurate for many groups of people. already i can see how these tests are more valuable for people with white privilege.

but i knew that already, right? there were probably (statistically speaking) generations of people in my family who the early members of this country didn’t even consider to be human. no official records were kept or if they were, they were deeds of property ownership and sale.

the ancestry site actually has a four page guide on how to trace those sorts of documents. which feels both great that they acknowledge that reality and also like… really fucking crazy.

anyway, i ordered the ancestry.com test because i read it had better results for black folks, but who knows… maybe i’ll just be disappointed again.

i’m also a little nervous that they’re going to sell my genetic data (like google and amazon sell my web browsing data).

maybe i could track all this back through my auntie claretta, who my mom tells me is the family historian. i guess i should probably give her a call, eh? maybe i’ll report back on that after i talk to her.

til then…

words / writing / post-processing
407w / 13min / 9min