Tobago

Tobago
Horizon at Sandy Point

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mother Africa

Ok, just this one more.

So why didn't you write about African arrival, the reader in my head asks.
Well, it's hard to see myself on a shelf on a ship, snatched from a land of mountains and rivers and big sky, fearful and sick, dying of claustrophobia. Just trying to imagine it, my spirit sinks, leaving my body a puppet to pretend. Dragged across continent and ocean, those who came from Africa have nevertheless risen to contribute their myths, magic and experience to the new world.

Instead, let us understand what the National Geographic Genome Project, directed by Dr Spencer Wells, reveals. The ancestry of all humans on earth today - how can they know all? - has been traced back to a group that derived in central Africa 60,000 years ago. The journeys of these common ancestors can be traced in interactive maps on the NG website. More importantly however, they are still being traced through genetic material that anyone can submit to the project for testing.

It means that Africa is in each of us. Even if we intuited that all humans belong to the same species - we can breed whatever the differences in superficial characteristics, white, black or brown, short, fat, tall - we now know with certainty that we belong to the family that arose some 60,000 years ago and travelled across the earth.

We are all African.

(Alternate ending:  Yes! Obama is yo' daddy!)

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