A DNA Study Revealed Genetic Impact Of African Slave Trade
Millions Of Individuals Were Made Slaves In America
According to a recent DNA study, there have been some new pieces of evidence which suggests a genetic impact of African slave trade that were sent to America between the time periods of 16th to 19th century. In this research study, more than 50,000 individuals took part due to which the researchers were able to identify the genetic impact of African slave trade on the present-day population residing in the United States.
The study was able to expose the repercussions of maltreatment, racism, rape, and disease. In the early period from 1515 to the mid of the 19th century, around 12.5 million Africans had been traded as slaves. While enroute to America, more than 2 million African individuals, including children, men, and women, died.
Study of genetic impact on Africans
The DNA study regarding the genetic impact of African slave trade is being led by 23andMe, a consumer genetics company that was able to include around 30,000 African people from both sides of the Atlantic ocean. According to the population geneticist of 23andMe Steven Micheletti, the aim of this DNA study was to compare the genetic outcome with the display of slave ships that would help to show how the people agreed and disagreed with it.
Even though a large portion of the research findings has agreed with the verified historical documentation regarding the areas from where the African people were taken and to where in America, they were taken to be sold as slaves, in some cases, the data does not extremely coincide. The DNA study regarding the genetic impact of African slave trade was able to find a major route for the slave trade, areas from where most of the African Americans have descended, which are now located in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.
According to the data compiled during the study, there has been an over-representation of the individuals with Nigerian ancestors in the United States and Latin America, as compared to the recorded amount of enslaves individuals that came from that area. This might be due to the intercolonial trading that occurred between the time period of 1619 and 1807. It is believed by the researchers that those enslaved individuals who were being transported from Nigeria via the British Caribbean to several other areas. This route was presumably adopted to maintain the economy of slaves due to the prohibition of transatlantic slave trade.
Findings of the African slave Study
During the DNA study to research the genetic impact of African slave trade, it was unexpected to find a reduced number of slaves from Gambia and Senegal, as they were the first few places from where slaves were initially deported. This might be due to two factors; First, that adult slaves were sent to work in areas to help with rice plantation, where a large number died after being affected by Malaria, and secondly, a large number of children were later sent to become slaves, out of which numerous children were unable to survive through the crossing.
During the DNA study, researchers were also able to find that the treatment of enslaved women across the American land had a great genetic impact on the modern-day gene pool. This impact might be due to the rape of enslaved African women by their owners and other ill-treatment. In the United States, enslaves women were often promised a chance of freedom in exchange for reproducing with other races, even though the racist policies at the time were completely opposed to the mixing of dissimilar races.
The recent movement of Black Lives Matter across the world has helped shed some light on the blemished legacy of slavery and colonialism of the African Americans, which also lead towards this DNA study on genetic impact of African slave trade in the colonial era.