Updated: May 14
Well, the DNA came in from Ancestry and I returned it the very next day. They asked me to spit in a tub and shake it up. I did and returned it. Less than a week later, I receive a text message that the sample has been received and I can watch the progress on the website. It was week by week as I saw the changes. I was expecting to have my results by July 10, 2021. My results came back in June!
** Note this is the latest update on my ethnicity as of May 2022
A Language of Their Own
While most enslaved Black people in the colonies lived in rural areas and worked on farms, those in larger cities such as Philadelphia, one of the region’s main ports, labored as craftsmen or domestic servants. For those who worked closely together—in both urban and rural settings—finding ways to communicate was essential, as many did not share the same first language. They created unique dialects, modes of storytelling, and music, which became important customs for unifying communities. New forms of communication included blends of African traditions and uniquely American creations, and some musical traditions became the roots of today’s blues, jazz, and gospel.
Comfort & Resistance Through Spirituality
Spirituality was an important cultural practice among enslaved Virginians. The first Black church in North America, called the African Baptist or “Bluestone” Church, was founded around 1758 on the William Byrd plantation in Mecklenburg County. Over time, enslaved people used religion as an avenue for education and cultural expression. Because slave owners believed literacy would lead to rebellion, enslaved people would use spirituals (religious folk songs combining expressions of faith and the hardships of slavery) to incite protest or communicate plans for escape. Because enslavers paid little attention to the songs sung by enslaved people, songs became an effective mode of communication. Today, spirituals continue to be closely linked to Black spirituality in North America.