Essay on Genetic Testing of African Americans

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Many people have often wondered about their past and where they come from, but different people react differently when it comes to finding out where they originally came from. Some actively seek to find out for themselves through researching their family history or by undergoing genetic testing, and their reaction may be either positive, or even negative, especially if their racial origin is not what they might have expected. The Afro-American community is particularly receptive towards such testing because it helps them to identify with their African origins and deal with the emotional impact of their upsetting history in which their ancestors were forcibly brought to the Americas to work as slaves.
Blacks in the Americas and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
In the Americas, there is a significant proportion of people who are described as negro or black, and the Americas in this context refers to both North America and South America. Negro is a Spanish word for black, but due to its sometimes negative connotation, the label black will be used herein. In order to distinguish blacks in the Americas from those elsewhere, they are usually referred to as Afro-Americans. These Afro-Americans are clearly distinct, especially due to the colour of their skin and their body build, from both indigenous Americans and White Americans, and Africans are native to the African continent. Their presence in the Americas in large numbers therefore indicates that large-scale migrations have taken place in the recent past, and it is not a hidden knowledge that many of these migrations were forced during the infamous transatlantic slave trade in which the Portuguese, Spanish, British, French and Dutch empires were all involved. This 'trade' t...

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... search for personalized genetic histories”, Nature Reviews Genetics, 5: 611-618, 2004.
C. N. Rotimi. “Genetic ancestry tracing and the African identity: a double-edged sword?” Developing World Bioethics, 3: 151-158, 2003.
Dula et al. In Paul Atkinson, Peter Glasner & Helen Greenslade. “New genetics, new identities” (Taylor & Francis, 2006).
Paul Atkinson, Peter Glasner & Helen Greenslade. “New genetics, new identities”, p.93. (Taylor & Francis, 2006).
Barbara A. Koenig, Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, and Sarah S. Richardson. “Revisiting race in a genomic age.” (New Brunswick, N.J., Rutgers University Press, 2008).
Jennifer L. Hochschild & Maya Sen, “Singular or multiple? The impact of genomic ancestry testing on Americans' racial identity”. Unpublished study, Harvard. Accessed December 2013,

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