In Searching For My Roots, I Found So Much More

I embarked on a journey with WNYC's Only Human to trace my African lineage and ended up dissecting the "I got Indian in my family" oral history that is so common in the American South.

Hi! I'm Tracy, a black girl from the American South.

I gave up trying to make a family tree as a kid, but when DNA genealogy tests became popular, I knew that I needed one.

The DNA test was a roller coaster of an experience. Here are 7 things I learned on my journey.

1. There are lots of different kinds of tests out there.

2. Different companies use different DNA databases.

3. Native American tribes have worked very hard to keep their genetic material out of these databases.

4. The things that we think of as markers of race, identity, and heritage, like hair texture and skin tone, don't dictate your actual genetic makeup.

5. I'm much blacker than I thought I was!

6. Who you are goes much, much deeper than genes and DNA.

7. And I accomplished my original goal: I learned which flag to buy.