Discovering Identity 

I had been patiently waiting for weeks to receive my ancestry DNA results. For as long as I can remember, most people that encountered me, could not identify where I was from. They’d make comments such as, “you look Indian, but you act Spanish….”

Throughout my childhood, my mom would jokingly say, “They gave me the wrong baby at the hospital, there’s a Dominican little girl in India. Till this day, most middle eastern men I come across, stop to ask me where I’m from. They look at me intrigued, with curiosity.

As I became older and started learning about the diaspora in Latin America, I became heavily interested in learning about my roots. I knew that some of my grandparents were from Spain but clearly I was much more than that. AfroLatinidad is a fairly new concept for me. For a few months, I ignorantly chose to not identify with the term since I did not have big curly hair (I know… Silly me!). My perception of who I am was certainly blurred and inaccurate. As I educated myself further, AfroLatinidad grew on me. I became deeply fascinated with the idea of knowing who I was. I needed answers and I searched for them.

After receiving my results, I discovered the following:

49% Europe: Iberian Peninsula, West Europe and Ireland.

40% Africa: Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast and North Africa.

7% West Asia: Middle East

4% Native American

Being half European was no surprise to me. However, finding out that I am 40% African was certainly a surprise! Receiving these answers put many things into perspective for me. I suddenly understood very clearly all aspects of me that are very much Afro! All my life I have been heavily connected to African culture. The music, drums and chants have always spoke to me. 

Discovering these answers have inspired me to educate my future kids to the best of my ability. It’s important that everyone, from anywhere around the world, learns about their lineage. There are endless layers of yourself that you have yet to discover and ancestry is just one aspect. In my opinion, if all of humanity were to identify their ancestry, I am sure that racism would minimize.

The photo above shows several regions shaded which indicate where majority of my ancestry derives. This journey to discovery has been an exciting one and I encourage you all to dip your toes…

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below.

XOXO

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