Psychological and ethical issues related to identity and inferring ancestry of African Americans

Cynthia E. Winston, Rick A Kittles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ancestry tells a people's story in narrative form and offers a sense of identity meaning. Disparate narratives, such as those of African American ancestry and genealogy, lead to an incomplete story and fragmented identity. Most African Americans know little about their African ancestry and are unable to identify with their ancestral homeland or specific indigenous African community. In fact, many African Americans learn and come to view their history as starting during slavery in the Americas. Arguably, the identity of enslaved Africans was largely determined by his or her master (Lovejoy, 1983; Ball, 1998; Curtin, 1990). As a result, over time there have been major implications that have evolved related to the social and psychological consciousness of descendants of enslaved Africans. This type of void or disconnect in ancestry is common among African Americans, but largely absent among other groups in America. For instance, white Americans have considerable latitude in choosing ethnic identities based on ancestry. Since many whites have known mixed ancestries, from Europe, they have the choice to select from multiple ancestries. For African Americans there is but one option in choosing ethnicity-black (Nagel, 1994).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiological Anthropology and Ethics: From Repatriation to Genetic Identity
PublisherState University of New York Press
Pages209-229
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)0791462951, 9780791462959
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

narrative
slavery
ethnic identity
Homelands
genealogy
consciousness
ethnicity
American
Ancestry
Psychological
Ethical Issues
African Americans
history
community
Africa
Group
time
Narrative Form
History
Voids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

Winston, C. E., & Kittles, R. A. (2005). Psychological and ethical issues related to identity and inferring ancestry of African Americans. In Biological Anthropology and Ethics: From Repatriation to Genetic Identity (pp. 209-229). State University of New York Press.

Psychological and ethical issues related to identity and inferring ancestry of African Americans. / Winston, Cynthia E.; Kittles, Rick A.

Biological Anthropology and Ethics: From Repatriation to Genetic Identity. State University of New York Press, 2005. p. 209-229.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Winston, CE & Kittles, RA 2005, Psychological and ethical issues related to identity and inferring ancestry of African Americans. in Biological Anthropology and Ethics: From Repatriation to Genetic Identity. State University of New York Press, pp. 209-229.
Winston CE, Kittles RA. Psychological and ethical issues related to identity and inferring ancestry of African Americans. In Biological Anthropology and Ethics: From Repatriation to Genetic Identity. State University of New York Press. 2005. p. 209-229
Winston, Cynthia E. ; Kittles, Rick A. / Psychological and ethical issues related to identity and inferring ancestry of African Americans. Biological Anthropology and Ethics: From Repatriation to Genetic Identity. State University of New York Press, 2005. pp. 209-229
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