Monday, March 5, 2012

Black American Finds Distant Relatives in the Ukraine, Norway, South Africa and Fiji (Sort of)

Several weeks ago, I learned that I had distant relatives in Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine.  Over the course of generations, they had spread throughout the region and spoke only the Ukrainian language and Russian.  As an African-American, the news that my family could extend to the other side of the globe, was startling. But alas, that was just the beginning.

More relatives turned up in Norway, India, Argentina,  Fiji, Greece, Morocco,  and South Africa.  These kinfolk were in addition to my immediate black American family, who traced their ancestry back to West Africa during the 18th century transatlantic slave trade. 

Okay. . .  now you get the picture. Like everyone else on this planet, I have relatives from all over the globe because we humans evolved from the same branch of homo sapien sapiens, which originated in Africa more than 20,000 generations ago.  But in this era of sequencing the human genome, scientific certainty has finally replaced politically-correct speculation.  I read and re-read the New York Times article reporting on new linguistic studies, which traced all human languages back to the click language of the Southern African khoisan people.  This linguistic breakthrough supported modern DNA evidence, which had already established that the human family began its migration out of Africa sometime between 125,000 and 60,000 years ago. 

Of course, this "out of Africa" business was not new to me.  Nor were the platitudes about us “all being brothers under the skin,” which we find on UNICEF greeting cards and Bible study groups, tasked with  explaining how Eve popped out of  Adam’s ribs.

But this time was different. Maybe it was the convergence of genetic evidence with new linguistic findings.  But my eyes fluttered open to a world that I had never seen before and my heart just opened up.  I will never again see wars and other conflicts as anything other than what they really are – family feuds. 

RELATED POST:  All Human Languages Traced Back to Africa