Where Am I From

I came across this video at Feministing.  It is a segment of 60 minutes where a woman finds out through DNA testing that she has a white male relative.  Jessica correctly points out that there is no mention of the systemic rape of black women that occurred during slavery.  We are to embrace our common ancestry without discussing the possibility that this ancestry only exists because of white male violence against black females. How do I know that these weren’t love affairs? It is simply a fact even the most racially tolerant white person existed with such racial privilege, and power that it negates any possibility of equality in a relationship. Power in this case removes the possibility of consent. We cannot look at relationships like that between Sally Hemmings and Thomas Jefferson as a love affair when he literally held the power of life and death over her.

Where am I from is a question that most blacks want answered. We know that we have a relative that was enslaved in Africa, but because our identity and ancestry have been lost to the sands of time, we cannot know what country or tribe that descendant came from. It is a question that I have often wondered about.  Somewhere across an ocean I have relatives who go about their daily lives in complete ignorance of my existence. Somewhere I have a family that was cruelly severed from me, perhaps forever. Who are these people? Would I find myself reflected in their eyes, or their patterns of behaviour? According to the following 60 Minutes report there are some answers available. Will these answers bring closure or will they simply lead to more questions? In the end I believe that  these questions about identity, may only be answered by accepting the fact that though there are differences between us, we are all apart of the same human family. In a sense we are all of the same blood.

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