In a casual conversation with a friend in 2010, Dr. Gina Paige was introduced to a book with a bold title and an interesting premise—Brainwashed by Tom Burrell. In the book, Burrell takes the framework of advertising and marketing campaigns to explain the hundreds of years-long process of brainwashing Black people into believing their own inferiority. While she was already aware of this connection between Black people and racist advertising because of the research she did in graduate school, Gina found this premise enlightening and helpful in thinking about why her company, African Ancestry, did such important work for the Black community. Using cutting-edge genetic science, African Ancestry is able to reconnect African-Americans to their African heritage down to the specific people and place with just a sample of their DNA. In this episode, we talk about the significance of knowing who your ancestors are, the power of mitochondrial DNA, and the multi-faceted relationship between Black people and science.
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