The Ancestry.com Ads Are Case Studies In Racial History

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  • TopherDL

    Thanks for this write-up. I’ve actually had similar thoughts about this in the back of my mind while watching these ads but never took the time to process and articulate them. It really is a bizarre realization when you take moment to think about how white supremacy permeates even the most innocuous of things for Black Americans. Something as inconsequential as a commercial can cause you to think about how this country has actively dismantled connections to our ancestry. For most Black Americans (who are descendants of slaves), there simply isn’t an ‘old country’ for us. And while I don’t think it is necessary to know where exactly where you came from to move forward in this world or to have a strong sense of ‘self’, there is a certain level of comfort that comes with being able to establish some kind of continuity about who you are.

    As for the actual website — I’ve used Ancestry.com to limited success, but cancelled once I hit a wall and there simply wasn’t anymore information for me to mine.