Will you participate in this . . . .

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The African Ancestry website, www.africanancestry.com, is offering DNA tests to determine the orgin in Africa of your mother and father. The test can also be used to determine if you have African ancesters. There is a charge for the service. Will you participate? Why or why not? If it was free, would you participate?

Be Blessed

-- Anonymous, June 08, 2003


Parson Paris: Thanks for the information. If DNA can acquit the innocent and convict the guilty, no doubt it can provide a reliable guide aobut geneology. Sure I'll participate, but I'm not willing to pay for this information. I'm a curious to test my hypothesis about my African origins. I trace my roots to Cameroon (this is why I refer to myself as Cameroonian-American). I think this is the project which is housed at Howard University. I'll check the website to be sure. Although the thought of participating in a Federal Government scientific experiment conjures up images about the "infamous" Tuskegee Syphillis Experiment of the 1930s, it is important for black folks to keep in mind that science is an ally not an enemy in mankind's continuing quest to improve the quality of life. QED

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2003

Reverend Paris,

As I can already trace my heritage back to Africa I don't think I will participate. My mother's grandfather, Dave McLarin, was born in West Africa. He came to Virginia, probably as a slave. He later settled in Campbell County, Georgia.

If in fact he ever was a slave, how he obtained his freedom we do not know. His last name suggests that he probably was a slave. By the early 1860s he was already free. He had been married and fathered two children before his first wife died. He then married my Great-grand mother, who was never a slave. To this union was born 12 children who included my maternal grandfather. Of Dave's 14 children my grandfather was the last to survive. The home is which they lived was split by the Campbell and Fulton County Line.

In the late 1800s both Campbell and Milton County Georgia were dissolved and annexed by Fulton County. At that time Dave McLatin was the only blacksmith in Fulton County, Georgia. Thus, both blacks and whites in the entire county had to give him their trade. The money he accumulated allowed him to purchase land. He also insisted on and encouraged his fourteen children to do the same.

140 years ago, in 1863, Dave and his wife were among the founders of the church to which I presently belong. The first permanent building in which the founders worshipped was a house owned by a white land owner named Benjamin Cobb. Although the members were grateful to him they knew the work of Richard Allen and immediately became A. M. E. The church was named Cobb Bethel in honor of both Richard Allen and Benjamin Cobb.

The church is still located on what is know as County Line Road, which is significant in that during its early years the places of worship were located on both sides of the Campbell and Fulton County Line. Subsequently moving from one side to the next.

Since Cobb Bethel is older than the original Georgia Conference, it is assumed that it was in the South Carolina Conference from which the Georgia Conference was derived. It was always A. M. E. and was neither an independent congregation nor a Methodist Episcopal (UMC) Church. The only congregation in Atlanta older than ours is Big Bethel, which was founded a few years earlier than my church.

In 1887 (The 100th Year of the A. M. E. Church) the members purchased the property on which the church now stands. The property was purchased from John and Ellen Oliver who also were among the founders of the church. Among the Trustees signing the deed and purchase were two sons of Dave and Espy McLarin who then were fully grown.

In that same year (1887) the first member to be buried on the site was George Lee McLarin, the 21-year old son of Espy McLarin and Dave McLain, who came from Africa somewhere close to two centuries ago.

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2003

Yes. I would participate. I would also pay if the fee were reasonable. there is one thing I do not understand though. There are many distinctive groups on the West Coast of Africa. When the slaves arrived in America, they intermarried with each other. How can I tell how much of me is Ibo, and another part from Cameroon, Gambia, etc.?

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2003

No, I would not pay to know what part of Africa my family came from. My heart belongs to Namibia and Zambia. So I consider those two countries my homeland. I have adopted Rev. Mwandu and his wife Connie in Zambia. And I tell everyone my children live in Zambia, Rev. Biwa and Rev. Hanse are my biological brothers;-) So my other family is in Namibia. My biological sister Rev. Higgins is in south africa. Instead of paying money for the test. I would rather send the money to one of our A.M.E. churches in Africa.

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2003

Rev. Paris,

My skin is brown, my lips are not thin, I have a broad nose and curly hair.

I am not from Europe.

While it would be interesting to see where in Africa my ancestors are from, it's not something I would pay for (unless some kind of inheritance is due me).

Rev. John Harper

-- Anonymous, June 10, 2003

I visited www.africanancestry.com and I have serious reservations about the validity of Dr. Kittles claim that he can use DNA analysis to trace ones ancestry back to a particular ethnic group in Africa. I took my masters degree in biology from Hampton University in 1987 and noticed that Dr. Kittles did not submit any peer-reviewed scientific articles to support his thesis. I did notice that there were newspaper articles supporting his claim.

Two, using Y chromosome analysis in a male or mitochondrial DNA analysis in a female to show a link to someone outside of your family tree has a low probability of being accurate. For example, Dr. Kittle used mitochondrial DNA to show that he had a maternal link to the "Hausa" tribe in Nigeria. Using the Y chromosome analysis, he determined that he had a paternal German ancestor. I don't know how many generations that he viewed but if he went back 5 generations or 2 to the fifth power that would involve 32 individuals in his immediate family tree. Therefore, if He did an analysis of my DNA and compared it to a group of people in Africa who are probably not in my ancestral line, then how can he say with any degree of confidence that we a related?

Three, there is no scientific definition of race. Race is merely a cultural definition. It is true that anthropologist can identify skulls as caucasoid, negroid, or mongoloid. However, race is not defined by any objective scientific criteria. If there were a test to identify us by race, I think that many of us would be shocked that we are all members of the same race because of Adam and Eve.

I think the marketing of this test for $300 plus dollars is an example of intellectual dishonesty masquerading as science.


-- Anonymous, June 10, 2003

What happens to the DNA results and/or sample after the test? Seems to me this test provides an excellent opportunity for misuse by someone so inclined.

-- Anonymous, June 14, 2003

I think that many black people in the diaspora are interested in the origins of their blackness. Thereby, I would like to participate. But I hesitate because sp many black people like me are american meaning native americans: Choctaw, Cheerokee, BlackFoot. This means that we are Asians because the native americans originated from that continent. Then we add the African ancestry of Wolof, We or Hausa of West Africa and Congo, etc. Then, we need to ask about the tribes that came via inter African slavetrading as far away as the EastCoast and Arabia. The price of the service: how did Mr. Kittles get that figure? We do not need opportunists or exploiters of our slavery pain. We need more information and why would one post information in the newspaper like it was presented: DNA UNLOCKS MYSTERIES

-- Anonymous, June 14, 2003

Yes,I want to know, and yes I would pay. I thank the CREATOR for such an opportunity.

-- Anonymous, June 14, 2003

I agree with Jazzman assessment of Dr. Kittles.

There is no way for him to use DNA testing to say that his father is of German origins. I saw a documentary on DNA testing to determine if a body was actually Jesse James about a year ago. They explained the entire DNA testing, including the allegation that the mother DNA via mitochondrial is allegedly accurate whereas the father is not. They could produced no DNA testing to show that the body was without a doubt Jesse James. They based their conclusion upon their alleged mother mitochondrial DNA theory using 2 peoples' DNA who claim to be related to Jesse James' mother, that the body was in fact Jesse James. Dr. Kittles is simply fronting for white America, who is continuing to press the LIE that the majority of us are not Americans but were all shipped here from West Africa. This is not only a LIE, as we were here (taken from Asia as a colony) before Columbus came to the Americas, but numerically impossible for West Africans to have sold off 10s of millions and millions of their children into slavery and still have descendants remaining on the continent of Africa today STILL selling their children into labor (slavery). Besides, it would be foolish not to consider the idea that the Germans have already done their DNA testing and found NO GENETIC link between us and the West Africans. So again, we can infer that white America (mainly of Germanic descent) has created this LIE of DNA testing, and by inference again using Dr. Kittles to sell it to our community. White America wants all Black Americans removed from our ancestral homelands here in the USA. Kittles should be questioned on his credentials, as his degree is allegedly in microbiology.

-- Anonymous, July 08, 2003

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