When my sister called me a few months ago to say, a little breathlessly, that she had gotten back her results from 23andMe, I snapped at her, “I don’t want to know!” She kept trying to share, but I kept shutting her down, before saying I had to go and hanging up. Afterward I felt a little shaky, as if I’d narrowly escaped disaster.
I’ve never been interested in DNA tests. I have nothing against people discovering they’re 18 percent German or 79 percent Irish, but I think the tests are a fad that distracts us from the harsh realities of race and identity in America. They encourage us to pretend that in terms of shaping who we really are, individual narratives matter more than the narrative of the country as a whole. There is no test for separation and tribalism, and yet they are baked into our cultural DNA.
But that didn’t explain the panic I felt during that phone call. I was a little embarrassed that I couldn’t take the news, whatever that news turned out to be. And then I realized that was it: I didn’t want to “turn out to be” anything more than what I was. I didn’t want my blackness divvied up or deconstructed any more than it has already been, not just in my lifetime but in the history of the Creole people of Louisiana I descend from.
I don’t need a DNA test to tell me that I come from everywhere. Creoles are the original American racial mélange of black and European — French and Spanish mostly — and frequently Native American. But this mélange has hardly been celebrated. Instead, it was the measuring stick for the limits to which Jim Crow laws had to go to police racial lines in Louisiana and the wider South (see one-drop rule, tragic mulatto, Plessy v. Ferguson). Creole multiracialism has been viewed not as quintessentially American but as something that undermines what quintessentially American should mean. Both blacks and whites viewed Creoles with special contempt and more than a little suspicion, as if we were trying to join a club we could never belong to, because of our color.
I never wanted to be white. Many Creoles felt the same way and were comfortable with their place on a black color spectrum that has existed in this country since slave ships first landed in America. Whiteness is an absolute, and it therefore has no spectrum, so black was all we could be anyway. Of course, many Creoles have held themselves apart from darker-skinned blacks, have made judgments and drawn distinctions based on poisonous but pervasive notions of white superiority. But for the most part Creoles have known where, and with whom, we belong.
So I didn’t want questions, raised by DNA tests or anything else, about that belonging. I didn’t want to discover via some remote data analysis that I’m not black but from “all nations,” as an ancestry-test commercial featuring a Latina sunnily put it.
This is the root of my anger — this idea that a geographically and ethnically mixed background is liberating, that it breaks down borders.
In my family’s experience, being mixed has been not liberating but constricting. And yet I’m proud of this history and don’t want to lose it. The alarm I felt over the DNA test was an instinct to protect this history — protect myself — from centuries of attempts to render my identity meaningless.
I know some people feel differently. I’ve seen ancestry-test ads featuring black people who, thanks to their results, can affirm their African heritage and feel more whole.
But the ads all remind me that 23andMe and its ilk are offering up individual histories as a product. Their greatest appeal may be that since they trace history back hundreds of years, before America was a country, they take America out of the equation altogether. This allows us to embrace our “true origins” without having to consider the truth of how those origins played out, and still play out, on this side of the Atlantic.
Sidestepping America also allows us to preserve the belief that as one of the world’s newest countries, and a democracy, we value ethnic pluralism. But for the most part, we don’t. People from Africa were not considered people; Native Americans who had been here for millenniums were considered foreigners in their own land. Race mixing was illegal, nothing less than an existential threat to the republic.
This was reflected big-time in the presidency of Barack Obama. His Kenya-Kansas mix was marketed as a classic American mash-up, but he was vilified by his many opponents as a black man — African, no less — who had no legitimate claim to be an American, to say nothing of an American president. His being half white did not calm this wariness, but stoked it. I always saw Mr. Obama as an honorary Creole, a reminder to all of us black folk along the spectrum — a vast majority of whom have white ancestry — of where we belong.My own wariness about knowing what my sister had found out never abated. But being a lawyer, she persisted, and I recently learned what the results turned up: slightly less than half African, the rest not. Relatively little French — a mild surprise, given Louisiana’s history. And a dollop Jewish. Interesting, amusing even, but I’m still black in America. What a relief.
Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.B:
【搞】【定】【了】【黄】【姆】【蓉】，【张】【振】【东】【又】【把】【蔡】【家】【的】【十】【五】【个】【人】【才】，【也】【都】【带】【去】【了】【恨】【天】【世】【界】，【给】【他】【们】【好】【处】，【给】【他】【们】【强】【化】，【包】【括】【蔡】【家】【的】【中】【年】【大】【叔】！ 【当】【所】【有】【人】【都】【心】【满】【意】【足】，【对】【张】【振】【东】【的】【手】【段】【惊】【为】【天】【人】，【无】【比】【敬】【畏】【了】，【张】【振】【东】【才】【放】【心】【的】【离】【开】【这】【娱】【乐】【公】【司】。【然】【后】【去】【拜】【访】【韩】【澄】【黎】【和】【李】【昊】【春】。 【因】【为】【她】【们】【距】【离】“【南】【霸】【娱】【乐】【公】【司】”【不】【远】。 【韩】【澄】【黎】【在】【那】【里】【的】【艺】
【蒙】【云】【这】【边】【拿】【下】【碧】【云】【兽】，【随】【之】【也】【得】【到】【了】【一】【枚】【紫】【色】【朱】【果】，【交】【战】【下】【来】【众】【弟】【子】【疲】【惫】【不】【堪】，【随】【即】【便】【布】【置】【阵】【法】【准】【备】【打】【坐】【修】【炼】【恢】【复】【灵】【力】。 【同】【时】，【让】【他】【们】【再】【次】【意】【识】【到】【积】【分】【获】【取】【的】【规】【则】。 【这】【一】【次】【围】【猎】【碧】【云】【兽】，【若】【不】【是】【他】【们】【人】【多】【组】【队】【又】【默】【契】，【一】【旦】【是】【单】【枪】【匹】【马】【的】【贸】【然】【攻】【击】【哪】【怕】【修】【为】【再】【高】，【遇】【到】【猎】【杀】【这】【个】【等】【阶】【的】【碧】【云】【兽】【定】【是】【会】【出】【意】【外】，【可】
【时】【间】【回】【拨】【到】【数】【小】【时】【之】【前】，【远】【在】【望】【乡】【市】【的】【白】【夜】【云】【和】【冯】【战】【歌】，【此】【时】【刚】【挂】【掉】【与】【庞】【鸿】【的】【电】【话】。 “【你】【和】【庞】【鸿】【交】【代】【什】【么】【了】？【怎】【么】【神】【神】【秘】【秘】【的】。【不】【会】【是】【让】【他】【帮】【忙】【把】【监】【视】【黄】【小】【晴】【的】【人】【揍】【一】【顿】【吧】？”【白】【夜】【云】【揶】【揄】【道】。 【白】【夜】【云】【话】【音】【刚】【落】，【冯】【战】【歌】【面】【色】【忽】【而】【变】【得】【十】【分】【古】【怪】【起】【来】，【白】【夜】【云】【一】【噎】，【当】【即】【扶】【额】【无】【奈】【道】：“【真】【不】【愧】【是】【你】【啊】……【宝】【贵】本港台开奖历史记录【朝】【廷】【之】【上】，【郑】【国】【公】，【那】【个】【贪】【生】【怕】【死】，【胆】【小】【的】【郑】【国】【公】【居】【然】【为】【了】【女】【儿】【求】【情】，【情】【愿】【牺】【牲】【自】【己】【的】【性】【命】，【这】【件】【事】【情】【一】【下】【子】【流】【传】【开】【来】。【下】【了】【早】【朝】【的】【石】【照】【也】【十】【分】【的】【撼】【动】，【回】【到】【了】【将】【军】【府】【里】，【还】【迟】【迟】【不】【能】【够】【回】【过】【神】【来】，【她】【是】【最】【了】【解】【自】【己】【的】【父】【亲】，【为】【了】【保】【住】【自】【己】【的】【性】【命】，【不】【说】【牺】【牲】【自】【己】【都】【不】【错】【了】，【居】【然】【能】【够】【维】【护】【自】【己】，【那】【么】【一】【切】【都】【是】【非】【常】【奇】【怪】
【苏】【清】【身】【子】【刚】【好】，【就】【马】【上】【又】【来】【到】【了】【马】【厩】，【车】【夫】【孙】【伯】【还】【是】【已】【经】【在】【等】【他】【了】。【孙】【伯】【打】【量】【了】【他】【一】【下】： “【伤】【势】【恢】【复】【好】【了】？” “【嗯】，【多】【谢】【孙】【伯】。” 【孙】【伯】【笑】【了】【一】【下】，【说】： “【先】【别】【谢】【我】，【这】【才】【刚】【开】【始】。【咱】【们】【要】【继】【续】【了】，【能】【撑】【得】【住】【吗】？” “【当】【然】【可】【以】。【孙】【伯】【尽】【管】【来】【吧】！” 【孙】【伯】【布】【置】【好】【禁】【制】【空】【间】，【没】【有】【任】【何】【招】【呼】，【对】【着】
【看】【着】【几】【乎】【坚】【持】【不】【住】【的】【青】【年】，【林】【无】【涯】【面】【色】【依】【旧】【淡】【然】，【没】【有】【一】【丝】【波】【澜】【闪】【过】，【他】【的】【层】【次】【目】【标】，【早】【已】【经】【达】【到】【了】【大】【帝】，【甚】【至】【大】【帝】【之】【上】。 【眼】【前】【这】【些】【不】【过】【帝】【境】【的】【修】【士】，【根】【本】【算】【不】【了】【什】【么】，【在】【他】【眼】【里】，【不】【过】【是】【一】【只】【只】【稍】【微】【大】【的】【蝼】【蚁】【罢】【了】。 “【现】【在】【你】【还】【觉】【得】【我】【们】【第】【九】【峰】，【技】【不】【如】【人】，【只】【能】【受】【你】【们】【的】【欺】【压】【么】” 【林】【无】【涯】【淡】【淡】【一】【笑】，【举】