May 5, 2010 -- On Saturday, June 26, the African American Cultural Forum, a brand new event taking place in downtown Hampton coinciding with the Afrikan American Festival, will welcome African Ancestry. The genetic genealogy company, based in Washington, DC, is known for using DNA to create “a vehicle to enable people of African descent to trace their ancestry back to their present-day African country of origin.” Afrikan Ancestry will conduct free genealogy and family tree seminars at the Crowne Plaza Hampton Marina Hotel.
“We are very excited to welcome Gina Paige and Dr. Rick Kittles, co-founders of African Ancestry, to Hampton,” said African American Cultural Forum Committee member Pam Croom. “The duo is renowned for their work in DNA and genealogy. Our attendees are in for a very special treat.”
African Ancestry has been featured on several television programs, including Good Morning America, African American Lives on PBS, and VH1 Soul, as well as print publications like USA Today, Essence, and Black Enterprise. In addition, the company has also traced DNA for many African American celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Forrest Whitaker, Spike Lee, and Isaiah Washington.
The cost to attend the African Ancestry seminars is free. Those wishing to have their ancestry traced via DNA or have family trees researched can do so for an additional fee.
During the African American Cultural Forum, African Ancestry will unveil the DNA tests of esteemed Hampton resident Dr. Mary T. Christian. Dr. Christian, who began her academic career at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University), later returned to the university as Director of the School of Education, rising to Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Education, before retiring as professor emeritus. In 1985, Dr. Christian was the first African American and first female from Hampton to be elected to the state legislature, post Reconstruction. She served nine consecutive terms representing Virginia’s 92nd House District. The results of the Dr. Christian’s DNA test will be unveiled at 10:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, June 26 (during both African Ancestry sessions at the African American Cultural Forum).
The African American Cultural Forum takes place at the Crowne Plaza Hampton Marina Hotel 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 26. Seminar topics include restoration of rights, gang awareness, family trees, and genealogy. Noted poet, author, and literary consultant Nathan Richardson is also scheduled to be in attendance, conducting seminars and workshops. All seminars and workshops are free. The event coincides with Afrikan American Festival, a Hampton 400th Anniversary Signature Event, happening that same weekend in nearby Mill Point Park.
For more information of African Ancestry, check out www.africanancestry.com. For further information on the African American Cultural Forum, contact Pam Croom at 757/728-5173 or pcroom(at)hampton(dot)gov.