Oprah Winfrey finds her Roots Thanks to DNA Test
When Oprah Winfrey underwent DNA testing in 2005, she announced she was a member of South Africa’s Zulu nation. Oprah announced that she was a Zulu during a trip to South Africa. Winfrey is an African American who has explored her roots with ancestral testing.
DNA Testing Confirms Identity
The DNA testing confirmed for the chat show host her sense of identity – she said she felt at home in South Africa. The BBC reported her saying: “I went in search of my roots and had my DNA tested, and I am a Zulu.” She announced this at a seminar in Johannesburg.
DNA Experts Question
But DNA experts raised doubts over the claim that DNA testing revealed she was a Zulu. They say genetic lineages don’t correspond exactly to cultural or linguistic groups such as the Zulu nation. However Winfrey said she felt a link to South Africa, she said “I wish I had been born here”.
DNA Testing Attracts Celebs
DNA testing has attracted a lot of celebrity and high profile black Americans. A TV show in America called African American Lives looked into DNA genealogy testing. Famous faces who took part in the show included comedian Chris Tucker and actress Whoopi Goldberg as well as Oprah Winfrey. The TV show set ripples through the African American community and DNA testing became popular and sought after amongst black Americans eager to reconnect to their roots.
Finding Their Roots
USA Today newspaper ran features on black Americans who were desperate to find out their roots using DNA testing. Stories included profiles on people abandoned at birth or brought up in a foster home and who knew nothing about their African-American roots. Ancestry testing offered them a way to finally find out more about who they are and where they came from. As descendants of slaves, black Americans have many obstacles tracing their family histories, but advances in DNA testing allows more African Americans to connect with their unknown ancestors.