ImagesFor those who might be curious where I shopped this Christmas season for those special in my life, look no further than African Ancestry, a well-run, minority and woman owned business that helped me, my mentor and friend Quincy Jones, Ms. Oprah Winfrey and countless others, to find, explore and learn about their African roots.  

Most exciting for me, I learned through my own DNA test some years ago that I came from the same African tribe, and village, as my mentor Quincy Jones — in Cameroon, which is right next to Nigeria.  I have felt connected to Cameroon ever since, and more deeply connected to mother Africa.

And so, this year I gifted a special DNA kit to several people in my family, so that they too could learn about their roots and rich background.  I ordered so many kits, my friend who owns the company felt compelled to call me to confirm it was legitimate (smile). It was, and I was glad to support her growing and important business.

When you gift something like this, it becomes the sort of gift that keeps on giving.  When you know who you are, simply, your life just comes alive in vibrant color and texture.  Also, silly things like racism falls away. In my case, I discovered that while I was 71% Cameroon, I was also 26% European, and the balance of Asian, Indian and other. In other words, I am a mixture of our world, with African roots, just like most people on the planet.  Everyone actually originated from the African continent. Everyone.

ImgresIf you want to support a great minority and woman owned business, and give yourself a gift at the same time, check out African-Ancestry.  The owner is Gina Paige, and if it helps, you can tell her and her team that I sent you (smile).

Blessings, and happy holidays to one and all.

John Hope Bryant


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