Tag: African American ancestry

Webster professor connected to African roots in Nigeria by ancestry test

This month, Dr. Cummings will travel to Nigeria, where many of her ancestors came from.

By Carol Daniel


A Webster University professor has long been an amateur genealogist but her discoveries took a huge leap forward with her recent ancestry.com test. Because family ties were severed by slavery in the United States, most African-Americans had little hope of finding relatives in Africa.

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The Trip I Hope All African-Americans Can Take

By Mercedes Bent

At a naming ceremony in the home of my host family in Lagos, Nigeria, I wore brightly colored traditional clothing — a long, rectangular skirt tied tightly around my waist and an off-the-shoulder top withshort, flared cuffs, all in a pink ankara pattern with a matching head wrap.

“Please stand,” said my host, who had graciously offered to tailor the ceremony — which is normally performed for babies — for me, her adult visitor from the United States.

“I hereby give you the name Esosa; it means ‘God’s gift.’ You are now Esosa Oloke. Welcome to the family. You will always have a family here in Nigeria.”

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‘Year of return’: Hundreds of African-Americans resettle in Ghana

Ghana was one of the main West African departure points for the transatlantic slave trade.The government has launched a campaign to reach out to the descendants of those Africans who were forcibly removed from their homelands.

It has dubbed 2019 the “Year of Return”.

Several hundred people have already put down roots in Ghana, many of them African-Americans. 

The programme is prepared by Patrick Lovett and James Vasina.


For African Americans, DNA tests reveal just a small part of a complicated ancestry

By Eli Chen

African Americans often have scant knowledge about where their ancestors are from, so many are using DNA test kits, like 23andMe and Ancestry, to trace their roots. The transatlantic slave trade erased a lot of information about family history and countries of origin for many people descended from African slaves.

It took nearly 30 minutes for Eric Depradine to extract a saliva sample from his dying grandmother. Depradine, 35, of Kansas City, wanted to have his grandmother’s DNA tested to confirm his suspicions that her ancestors came from Madagascar.

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NAACP Announces Memorial Trip to Ghana

  • Jamestown to Jamestown memorial trip to Ghana announced to commemorate 400 years of African diaspora
     

The Jamestown to Jamestown Memorial Trip to Ghana, an official event of Ghana’s Year of Return, was announced at the 50th NAACP Image Awards in Hollywood, California by Diallo Sumbry, Ghana’s first Black American Tourism Ambassador, in partnership with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

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American students visit Africa via Motherland Connect

By Maya DuBois 

The non-profit organization Motherland Connect takes HBCU students to their African roots one country at a time.

The Motherland Connect started in South Africa and it operates on Florida A&M University’s campus via political science assistant professor Christopher Daniels. Continue reading “American students visit Africa via Motherland Connect”

Meet Redoshi: The last enslaved African From Benin Republic To Survive Forced Migration to the U.S.

By Tanasia Kenney

A researcher at Newcastle University in Great Britain has pieced together the history of a remarkable woman believed to be the last survivor of the trans-Atlantic slave trade ships that arrived in the U.S.

Redoshi, later known as Sally Smith, was kidnapped from a village in modern-day Benin, West Africa, and brought to the United States, where she lived and died on the Alabama plantation where she was enslaved, according to research by Dr. Hannah Durkin.

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Why an African American Free Masons group “returned” to one of slave trade’s darkest places

By Joy Notoma

When a group of Prince Hall Masons from North Carolina arrived in Cotonou, Benin last month for the inauguration of a new grand lodge in Cotonou, the cultural significance wasn’t lost on the masons from Benin.

After The American Revolutionary War (1775-83), a formerly enslaved man from Massachusetts who had fought in the war for independence, was attracted to Freemason ideals like brotherly love, justice, and liberty, but the exclusively white group wouldn’t allow a black man in its ranks. The man, Prince Hall, wasn’t one to take no for an answer, though.

With all the traditional tenets of masonry, he decided to start his own group of masons.

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West African religions like Ifa and Vodou are on the rise in Maryland, as practitioners connect with roots

By Jonathan M. Pitts

They gathered in a clearing by a stream in Baltimore County one chilly early-spring day, some in the colorful African head ties known as geles, others wearing bracelets trimmed in shells or carved in wood.

One by one, they stepped forward to toss offerings into the Gwynns Falls – a pineapple, four oranges, a bouquet of tulips.

And when the lead priestess of these African-American women dropped a handful of shells to the ground and scrutinized their pattern, a message came through: Their celebration of the spring equinox was blessed by the divine.

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New African Children’s Museum Set To Open In Baltimore, First In The Country

By Devin Bartolotta

A new children’s museum in the works for northwest Baltimore is hoping to shed light on a sometimes-forgotten chapter of black history.

“Mama Kiki” Armstrong, originally from Ghana, wants to feature music, drumming and dancing that have influenced American pop culture at the Sankofa Children’s Museum, and bridge the gap of missing history.

“This should help them appreciate the culture,” Armstrong said. “We’re not just talking about African-American kids. We’re talking about all the kids in the community.”

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New African diaspora studies program starts at University of Oregon-Includes visit to Ghana

Bridging the gap between the African and African-American experience is the goal of a new study abroad program offered by University of Oregon’s Global Education Oregon program.

The program is partnering with two historically black colleges and universities on the study abroad experience. At least 15 students will be able to enroll in the program; the application deadline is March 15.

Students will begin by spending time in New Orleans. The city, which served as the first port of entry for many slaves coming to America, retains cultural and historical markers, many of which are still apparent today. Students will stay on the campus of Xavier University of Louisiana and visit landmarks and other important sites in the state.

From there, students will travel to Ghana, where they will live with host families while attending classes and excursions, including visits to historical points of interest related to the trans-Atlantic slave trade. At the conclusion of the program, the group will travel to Kumasi and to Cape Coast to visit one of the largest open-air markets in Africa and to see the castles used in the slave trade.

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Nigerians Seek More Collaboration With African-Americans

Participants at the US Embassy Black History Month event have called for more collaboration with their brothers in America especially those who can’t trace their African roots.

The programme which was with the theme: “Building Bridges between Africa and the African Diaspora,” the participants said there is no good awareness between Africans in the continent and their brothers and sisters in the Diaspora especially those in Britain, Spain, America, Caribbean and other places about their roots.

According to some of the participants, the great migration from Africa to Europe was huge but insisted if they must build a strong continent, there must be a better collaboration and relationship with the African-Americans.

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Comedian Kevin Hart Reaches Out To Young Nigerian Artist Who Drew Him

American comedian and actor, Kevin Hart has reached out to a young Nigerian artist who posted a drawing of him on Twitter.

The power of social media yeah?

The Kaduna-based artist, Eli Waduba Yusuf had posted the drawing two days ago, February 25, 2019, and asked users to retweet till it gets to Hart and it did.

Yusuf wrote that he is a hyperrealism pencil artist and will like to become like Arinze Egbengwu who is best known for creating hyperrealistic pencil drawings.

He wrote, on Twitter:

“My name is Eli Waduba Yusuf Am a Nigerian, based in Kaduna. Am a hyperrealism PENCIL Artist, I hope to become like . Please Retweet, let see it, thank you.”

Hart replied saying he has seen and will like to support him by paying him to do a pencil of three of his celebrity friends.

“I see it and I want to purchase it…I also want to support you and your amazing talent by giving you a fee to do a pencil drawing of 3 of my celebrity friends that I can gift it to. DM your info and let’s get to work!”

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African-American business delegation visits Ghanaian Osu community

A 16-MEMBER Black American business delegation arrived last Wednesday to a rousing traditional welcome by the Osu Traditional Stool.

The delegation was received by the Osu Alata Mantse, Nii Kwabena Bonne V, on behalf of the Osu Traditional Council.

Welcoming the delegation, Nii Bonne V said he believed that the business executives were coming back to their homeland 400 years after their ancestors had gone into captivity abroad.

The delegation is in the country at the invitation of the Ghana International Chamber of Commerce and Yoks Investments Ltd, a local private company.

Led by a business strategist and the President of the National Black MBA Association, Mr Jesse Tyson, the delegation is in the country to reconnect with their roots as part of the Year of Return.

The visit is also to afford the delegation the opportunity to explore possibilities and opportunities to connect with local businesses and also enter into partnerships with local businesses.

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ANCESTRY.COM releases new data for African diaspora to unearth their lineage

By Samara Lynn

Genealogical website Ancestry.com, has released 94 new and updated communities so that African Americans and Afro-Caribbeans can learn more about their roots.

Communities are part of the AncestryDNA test, which lets people from the African diaspora explore their heritage and how their ancestors migrated.

One of the new communities focuses on Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina African Americans. As per Ancestry:

“Members with this community may have ancestors that were enslaved and working on rice plantations in South Carolina and Georgia. When cotton fields came to the area in the late 1700s, many enslaved African Americans were brought to work those fields. Following the Civil War, the Great Depression, and World War II, many South Carolinians followed rail lines up North to New York and Philadelphia. This group was one of many communities that were part of the Great Migration–which was the movement of millions of African Americans during the 1900s from the South to cities in the North and West.”

Another new AncestryDNA community centers on Louisiana Creoles and African Americans. Interestingly, Ancestry’s research finds that by 1940 more than 18% of African Americans in the Bay Area were from Louisiana.

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