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What if you think you’re black, but your DNA test disagrees?

| | December 4, 2018

Three years ago, when Sigrid E. Johnson was 62, she got a call from a researcher seeking volunteers for a study on DNA ancestry tests and ethnic identity. Johnson agreed to help.

Johnson’s father, a chauffeur who later became a superintendent at a housing project in North Philadelphia, had a golden-brown complexion. Her mother, who said her own father was a white Brit and her mother was half African-American and half Native American, was light-skinned.

Johnson figured it was no big deal: She was half African and half Italian. “I knew what the results would show when they came back — that is, until the results actually came back.”

The results, which indicated a stunning level of precision, shocked Johnson. They said she was 45.306 percent Hispanic, 32.321 percent Middle Eastern, 13.714 percent European and 8.659 percent “other,” which included a mere 2.978 percent African.

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Johnson, now 65, hoped the [23andMe] tests would conclude that her genes aligned with who she believed herself to be. In early August, with the kits in hand, she walked around her apartment, trying to work up enough saliva to fill the little collection tubes. Afterward, Johnson was both eager for quick results and hesitant about what they might say. “You know,” she said, “even if the results are the same as they were before, I am still a black woman.”

Read full, original post: Sigrid Johnson Was Black. A DNA Test Said She Wasn’t.

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