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Whoopi Goldberg’s DNA Testing Creates Ripples in Small African Nation

Whoopi Goldberg, like many others, is turning to DNA testing to learn more about her ancestry. Goldberg participated in the PBS program African American Lives which used DNA testing in conjunction with traditional genealogical research methods to elucidate the genealogy of famous African Americans (including, among others, Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Dr. Mae Jamieson). The results of Goldberg’s mtDNA testing has revealed that her maternal line descends from the Papel and Bayote tribes who are found in the tiny West African Nation of Guinea-Bissau. Her admixture test suggested that her ancestry was 92% sub-Saharan African and 8% European. As with all DNA testing, Goldberg’s results only examined a small fraction of her actual ancestry.

After hearing of the results of the test, the government of Guinea-Bissau held a high level meeting and wrote her a letter that ended with a request to visit their country. The letter was hand-delivered to the U.S. Embassy and forwarded to the State Department in Washington for delivery to Goldberg. Goldberg’s publicist Brad Cafarelli, in an e-mail to the Associated Press, wrote that Goldberg has yet to receive the letter.

Blaine Bettinger

Intellectual property attorney, genealogist, and author of The Genetic Genealogist since 2007

2 Comments

  1. those this means all of her ancestors were born in africa

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