book | 01.12.16
D&S advisor Alondra Nelson’s book tracing how claims about ancestry are marshaled together with genetic analysis in a range of social ventures:
DNA has been a master key unlocking medical and forensic secrets, but its genealogical life has also been notable. Genealogy is the second most popular hobby in the United States, and the outpouring of interest in it from the African American community has been remarkable. After personally and professionally delving into the phenomenon for more than a decade, Alondra Nelson realized that genetic testing is being used to grapple with the unfinished business of slavery. It is being used for reconciliation, to establish ties with African ancestral homelands, to rethink citizenship, and to make unprecedented legal claims for slavery reparations based on genetic ancestry. Arguing that DNA offers a new tool for enduring issues, Nelson shows that the social life of DNA is affecting and transforming twenty-first-century racial politics.