African Ancestry, pioneers of genetics ancestry tracing for people of African descent, has announced its intentions to help African-Americans tour six African countries to trace their roots after establishing their ancestry and birthright through a DNA test.
Dubbed African Ancestry Family Reunion (AAFR), the initiative seeks to bring back all Africans in the diaspora who seek to trace their ancestry to its roots and home countries.
In an interview with Dr. Gina Paige, Co-Founder and President of African Ancestry, she expressed excitement of the launch of the African Ancestry Family Reunion. She said in her experience over the past years, the first thing people want to do once they find out what country and what people they share ancestry with, is to travel home “and now we have an opportunity to help them do that.”
She describes the ancestry discoveries as an all-inclusive specially curated birth right journeys just for people who have taken the test to travel home either to Sierra Leon, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal or Nigeria.
“This is really a journey, a birthright journey for people to learn the country, learn the history, the cultures, the traditions from the people who lived there that they have distant ancestry connections to” she emphasized.
Madam Page further described the activity of tracing ancestry for black people as a necessity and not a novelty as it may seem to others. An emotional Paige said: “We didn’t leave here by choice but we are back by choice.
It is necessary to trace your ancestry to where your great grandparents, aunts and uncles and other extended family members came from because we are the original victims of identity theft. As black people living outside of Africa, we have no idea where we are from.”
Explaining further, she stated that “I know I am from DC. I know my parents came from Virginia but what about before that and before that. Every other group in the world knows where they are from except for us. We get to claim Africa and I always say that’s dope. We get a continent. But it’s a continent with 50-plus countries and we deserve to know so that we can honor that ancestor”.
She said Africans in the diaspora exist because of the ancestors who made it through the most horrific experiences over the past 400 years. “We owe it to that one person who started our family line to know where they came from and to honor and respect that and to understand that we didn’t come from slavery.”
According to her, the transatlantic slave trade was just a period on a longer continuum and so Africans in the diaspora need to do a better broader perspective on who they are in this global continuum.
Earlier this year, over 70 families discovered their ancestry during the African Ancestry DNA reveal, which is the largest ever in the continent.
AfricanAncestry.com used its most comprehensive database of indigenous African genetic sequences in existence to trace their ancestry back to specific present-day African countries and ethnic groups of origin dating back more than 500 years ago – the only company that can do that.
Cumulatively over a million people, per the AfricanAncestry.com database have found out where they were from.