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The Presence Of DNA

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There is a story to be told by my DNA. The story opens the doors of history and provides earnest information about my origin, my family, my people. 

I live in America, where for 250 years Africans were enslaved and systematically denied the natural human right to discuss their indigenous origins, and their biological families.

Africans were given the name “niggers,” or “nigga” collectively. Like looking into a river teeming with fish; “look at all those fish.” These are my “niggers,” look at them. They all belong to me.

Other than the name nigger, Africans remained nameless from the time of their capture, until they were purchased by slavers and plantations owners. 

The name of the plantation was the “James Plantation,” named after the owner of the plantation. “That nigger belongs to the James Plantation, and that nigger belongs to the Thomson Plantation.

Africans born on plantations in America were given slave names, in some cases, their parents gave them names, and in others, the plantation owner decided on their names.

Africans were only given first names; and, it was not until after slavery that Africans began to take on last names.

One source reports that after slavery, census takers instructed former African slaves to adopt the last name of plantations owners. 

Europeans legislated Africans into slavery, and in America, into an identity crisis.  I was born in the 20th century, and it was not until I was a young adult that began to realize that I am an African, who was born in America.

When The Took Away Our Names

Africa is a continent rich in land, culture, and ethnic groups who lived upon their land for thousands of years, before the Arabs and Europeans invaded and divided the land, creating 54 colonies or countries as we know them today. 

African culture has always been rich in spirituality; it is a spirituality that is present in all matter, in the sense that the spirit is the cause of creation. The spirit manifests itself in all that is visible in the world, universe, and cosmos wherein we exist.

In African spirituality, one’s name is derived from the ability of the living being able to communicate with the spirit of the newborn. One’s name is the revelation of the newborn soul. The newborn soul/spirit uses the name to identify itself with other human souls.

 And so, when a child is given a name, that name is not only attached to the flesh and bones of the child; the name identifies the newborn’s soul/spirit.

Among the Zulus of South Africa, the word for name is igama (means: “your symbol”), and its meaning is a symbol. When a child was given a name, the symbolic meaning was painted on a round pebble in red or black pigment, and kept as long as the child lived.

Upon death, the named-pebble was broken into two pieces and returned to earth, making it’s way back into the spiritual realm.

Among Northern and Southern Sotho, and Botswana-speaking people in South Africa, a person’s name held immense spiritual power. It was extremely important to conceal your true name until complete trust was built between yourself and another person. 

Only after the trust was built, would your true name be revealed.

Among Africans, the spirit is believed to be omnipresent. Everything in the visible world is a manifestation of the spirit, as the spirit consists of infinite energy.

African spirituality says that the spirit exists before, after, and beyond material existence. As such, it is believed that the name, which is bestowed upon a child bears immortal energy.

In Africa, one’s ethnic identity could be determined by one’s name. Stripped of our names, Africans in America were separated for their identity, culture, tribe, homes families, and given these insights, they were stripped of the connection between their names and their souls/spirits.

European salvers branded, numbered, and named Africans as a way of indoctrinating them into slavery, and obliterating all thoughts of their spirituality, Africa, and African heritage. 

Having My DNA Analyzed

In the year 2000, the “Family Tree DNA” in Huston, Texas began offering the first genetic genealogy test to the public.

As I kept notes on this developing science, in 2007, I submitted my DNA to be tested by one of the premier DNA testing labs in the US. 

When I received the results of my DNA test, the information therein opened a window that Europeans had kept closed for centuries. 

A fresh breeze blew in through the window, and suddenly I could breathe. I for the first time in my life inhaled the air of my heritage, the air of belonging, connectedness; the air of humanity.

My report read 38% Nigerian, 26% Congo & Western Bantu Peoples, 7% Benin & Togo, 4% Mali, 4% Senegal, 2% Ivory Coast & Ghana.  So that, 81% of my DNA was of West African origin. 

The other 19% was derived from European countries, which I believed resulted from the years of sexual lust and rape my African ancestors experienced on plantations in the US.

In the years I spent living in the United States; in my heart, in my spirit, I was always uncomfortable, unable to rationalize the cruelty and injustice Africans experienced in America. 

America provided African Americas with a steady diet of tension, stress and pressure; it propagated prison and death as “hope” for African American boys, teenagers, and men.

My DNA results gave me rest from American ideologies, propaganda, and norms; it allowed me to breathe the air of my ancestors and experience a connection with the Motherland in a way that I did not know existed.

We Are One

In the book of life, the years I have spent fending off the lies and working to find the truth are well documented. Beginning from the moment I was old enough to collect memories, my thoughts searched for meaning and my purpose for being born.

My search, having lasted for many decades introduced many dark and unimaginable atrocities suffered by Africans. Take for example, the plight of Africans in Argentina.

During the Atlantic Slave Trade, Africans arrived in Argentina. And by the mid-1700s, at least 50 percent of the population in the interior of the country was African, and between 30 and 40 percent of the population of Bueno Aires was African, or mulatto. 

Those brothers and sisters were from the same region of Africa, that the Africans in America were from; perhaps different tribes, but the same region.

The Root reported that, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, who was president of Argentina from 1868 to 1874 implemented a covert genocide that wiped out the African population.

So that, by 1975 there were so few Africans left in Argentina there was no need to count them in the national census. 

President Sarmiento, segregated the Black community from European descendants, placing them in squalor with no decent infrastructure and healthcare. 

This became a death sentence when cholera and yellow fever outbreaks ravaged their community, as there were no resources to prevent or treat the diseases. 

He imprisoned Africans for minor or fabricated crimes, wherein mass executions took place. He enlisted Africans in the army to fight the Paraguayan War of 1864.

It is Alleged that President Sarmiento, knowing that the Africans were ill-equipped to fight a war on the front lines, sent thousands of African men to their deaths. 

This was all part of a plan to create an all-white extension of Western Europe, in Latin America. The Argentina that we know today was at one time 50% African, but today the African people represent less than 3 percent of a population, that is 97% European.

Conclusion

Africans live in all parts of the world, stemming from thousands of years of migrations, the Atlantic Slave Trade, refugee crisis, and immigration.

Their homes include North and South America, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cuba, Trinidad, Tobago, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Canada, Spain, Ecuador, Germany, Middle East, Asia, and many other countries.

European imperialism propagated that white people were superior to other races, solely based on their white skin, and advanced ability to murder, kill and impose their will. 

So that, for the last 500 years, Indians and Africans have endured genocide and subhuman treatment. The numbers and reports can never convey the depth of horror and carnage inflicted by Europeans.

In a sense, my DNA results is living proof that centuries of torture, rape, and murder did not destroy who I am. The confirmation of my DNA results was always present in my life; there never was a time when it was not there. 

The confirmation of my DNA results is the color of my skin. I really love the color of my skin, it has been my light, in dark times, it has been my strength when I felt weak, it has been my inspiration to survive, lose the chains, and escape from the prison of lies, deception, and limitation. 

The love in my heart for African people is like the river that runs down the side of a mountain; the river contains life for the valleys below. 

As long as rivers of love flow from above, we the African people will always survive and multiply. White people did not make us and they cannot destroy us.

When we allow rivers of love to flow into our lives, homes, and communities; it is only a matter of time before fruits begin to manifest. The abortions will cease, the violence will cease, the robbing and stealing will cease.

Neighbors will share, talk and experience life together. Their children will gravitate toward each other, and friendships will emerge; friendships that can never be defiled.

Personal and collective gifts will aspire, and provide for the basic needs of everyone. The sick and disabled will be cared for, those in prison will know they are loved and cared for by our gifts and visits, and the seniors among us will be admired as bearers of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. 

African descendants all over the world will be able to link arms, eat, drink, dance, and celebrate one another.

And so, United African Diaspora, has emerged on the world stage as a voice and resource for Africa and the African Diaspora. 

Please, subscribe to our newsletter, contact us and allow us to share your stories, your experiences; and, through it all your love for life.

By, Stephen Small

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