African American Lives 2

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I just watched part of this PBS program, and it’s fascinating. A description from the website:

journeys deep into ancestry of an all-new group of remarkable individuals, offering an in-depth look at the African-American experience and race relations throughout U.S. history. Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. returns as series host, guiding genealogical investigations down through the 20th century, Reconstruction, slavery and early U.S. history, and presenting cutting-edge genetic analysis that locates participants’ ancestors in Africa, Europe and America. Joining Professor Gates in the new broadcast are poet Maya Angelou, author Bliss Broyard, actor Don Cheadle, actor Morgan Freeman, theologian Peter Gomes, publisher Linda Johnson Rice, athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee, radio personality Tom Joyner, comedian Chris Rock, music legend Tina Turner, and college administrator Kathleen Henderson, who was selected from more than 2,000 applicants to have her family history researched and DNA tested alongside the series’ well-known guests.

Check out the site, there are a lot of really interesting videos and stories. Try to imagine what it would be like if you were part of an entire race of people who know almost nothing about their ancestors.

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James Watson is black

Heh:

A Nobel Prize-winning scientist who provoked a public outcry by claiming black Africans were less intelligent than whites has a DNA profile with up to 16 times more genes of black origin than the average white European.

An analysis of the genome of James Watson showed that 16 per cent of his genes were likely to have come from a black ancestor of African descent. By contrast, most people of European descent would have no more than 1 per cent.

Gotta love it. For background, see Watson’s comments on how black people aren’t as intelligent as the rest of us. More on Watson, co-discoverer of the double-helix structure of DNA, here.