Feature Story Part #1

When pondering about a subject to write about for my feature story instantly, of course, my thesis pops into my head. However, when glancing around the room I realize  it would be a unwise to do so, due to the potential of subjects in the classroom that I might need for my experiment. Likewise, the news of what I really am truly assessing would destroy my hopeful results for further participants, in the slight chance they had become aware of my investigation. I still wanted to test audience’s perceptions and attitudes, but it was the “what” that had me stumbled. While I was listening to the wise words of Dr. Wachanga’s lecture of feature writing, he expressed to tell a story of significance, and it struck me that Ancestry DNA has been a topic that many have started to engage in. It not only deals with understanding one’ sown  heritage and history, but it is also breaking down barriers as well when considering the possible stereotypes and first initial impressions we may have of others. Thus, my feature story will be conducted around this idea of why one chooses to take the DNA test and how has it affected or change their perceptions or attitudes about themselves and others.

A few years ago, I was inspired to take my own Ancestry DNA results to see where I truly came from. Having the opportunity to live and travel around the world experiencing different cultures and languages filled me with a passion to learn more. Many people around the world take much pride in their culture and heritage, and I wanted that same experience and knowledge. To explain further, my mother was adopted and it wasn’t until her adult years that she was able to receive documents from the court as to her medical and DNA results, and even with the information provided it was extremely limited for the protection of the birth family. You see, my mother and I both grew up knowing we are biracial (black and white), but there was always a piece missing to explain our heritage. Luckily Ancestry DNA was able to provide this missing link for both of us. As I said before, I took my test a couple years ago and uncovered my results: Mali, Nigerian, Western Europe (German, Dutch), British, and French. When my mother finally had the courage to take her own test, it kicked open a whole new door of connections. My mother’s results were as the following: Finish, Dutch, German, Scandinavian, Mali, Nigerian, Irish, British, Italian, and Greek. Seeing that St. Patrick’s day is approaching, this will be the first official celebration for both of us knowing that we are Irish!

It was quite amazing to see the percentiles to the degree I am associated with, but ancestry also provides history to each continent in relation to the migration to America. Similarly, it matches your results to other individuals that have taken the test by assessing the potential to be distance or close relatives. Sadly, I am not knowledgable about my family history due to very secret relatives on my father’s side and as mentioned before with my mother being adopted. Hence, its hard to communicate regarding family trees when I personally have nothing to go off of, but for many I have heard wonderful stories. Thus, it is my desire to interview individuals who have taken the steps with the Ancestry DNA kit and unravel their positive or negative discoveries, in hoping to shed light on this area of self-discovery and family history.



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