This book is not only about connection but also about discovery. As someone who was skeptical of DNA testing, I never envisioned that I would have my DNA analyzed. However, after viewing shows where DNA testing was central to the outcome as well as shows chronicling how numerous personalities had discovered their roots and unknown family, I took the plunge, dutifully swabbing my inner cheeks, mailing off the kit, and waiting in anticipation for the results. Surely, I thought, my complicated heritage would not be revealed.
But I was wrong. I was aware of my European ancestry that I had traced as far back as the 1750’s to a white Scottish ancestor who owned a plantation in Guyana, South America on which I lived for almost twelve years; this he deeded to a colored woman with whom he had eight children. I had also traced my maternal ancestry to a German immigrant to Guyana. And I was aware of my trace Indigenous roots. But the greatest part of me…my almost 89% African roots from nine countries was unearthed. In attempting to connect with these ancestors, I not only connected with the pieces that melded together to create a unique me, but surprisingly, I discovered the undeniable role that many African ancestors had played in the trans-Atlantic slave trade and how their actions helped to crush the soul of a people.
Carmen Barclay Subryan Ph.D.