Suddenly black: Woman discovers her African ancestry - CBS46 News

Suddenly black: Woman discovers her African ancestry

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

"I had always been told we had Native American heritage, and that's honestly what I was looking for, so we ordered the kit, took the test, and sent if off," says Carmen Rexford.

In the weeks waiting for her Ancestry DNA Test results to come back to the house, the Henry County wife and mom was spending quiet moments on the couch doing research on that "Native American notion" she'd heard and believed.

That was until she received her results.

"I have one percent Ivory Coast," she said.

Ivory Coast as in the the nation in West Africa where plenty enslaved Africans were forced to emigrate and work for free in America.

However, when she goes out in society people won't see her as that one percent.

"They're going to see me as white, I'll never know what it's like to be black."

Her results also show one percent Africa South Central and one percent Nigeria.

Rexford and her relatives are not the first white people to uncover African ancestry.

A recent study found "more than six million Americans who self-identify as European might carry African ancestry".

Rexford's mom welcomed the news. 

"She was pretty excited, she accepted it with open arms. She was disappointed there was no Native American, and she wanted questions answered and I started looking."

Her research turned up another revelation, it looks like she's related to CBS46's Mike Dunston.

"It says predicted relationship fourth cousins, possible relationship fourth to sixth cousins and it says confidence high."

For Rexford, knowledge is power. Power she believes could change attitudes and behavior.

"I think it could really help race relations, if you find out it affects you, like me. Like hey, it matters to me, and now it affects me, even that one percent. I really think it would help them look at things a lot different."

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