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African American DNA Research Forum

reporter seeks DNA stories

Hi, I'm a reporter with the New York Times. I've spoken with some of you on this forum before. I'm working on another story now about how DNA tests are challenging traditional notions of race. I'm looking for concrete ways in which people are using the DNA test results to assert from racial or ethnic groups or families to whom they now have evidence of belonging. I suppose a classic example of this is the Sally Hemings descendants seeking recognition from the Monticello Association. Another would be a legal action underway that seeks slavery reparations based in part on DNA evidence. I'm interested in more personal examples of this sort of thing -- if African Americans have been able to trace white ancestors with DNA, what, if anything, are you asking of them regarding receiving a just share of inheritance? I'd also be interested to know if anyone has been contacted by white relatives in this regard. I know these are sensitive and personal questions, and I would not necessarily need to use your name in the story, if you have privacy concerns. But I do think they are of great social import and interest. If you're willing to share your experiences on this subject, please email me at and let me know how best to contact you.
thanks so much
Amy Harmon
New York Times

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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