afrigens @ work is a passion project where we seek, ask, and document life and career stories from next-gen africans adulting in the west. why? because so many of us are affecting change in our everyday lives and doing radical things to push the cultural envelope our parents so securely wrapped us in. we believe it's important for us to see and share our stories and celebrate our successes. 

here's what i had to say,

with founder janet asante

with founder janet asante

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identity | black britain. 1970s.

"i can't think of myself as english because i'm not accepted here, you know i've never been there but i'll always think of jamaica as home."

Researchers plan to analyze more of the 20,000 human remains stored at the Museum of London. According to Caroline McDonald, who is a senior curator at the museum, London was a cosmopolitan city from the moment it was created following the Roman invasion 2,000 years ago. Working with scientists at Durham University and an ancient DNA lab at McMaster University in Canada, museum researchers were able to reconstruct the DNA of four individuals so far:

The Lant Street teenager

The most complete skeleton studied was that of a 14-year-old girl, who the museum curators have named "The Lant Street teenager". Analysis of her DNA and chemicals in her teeth show that she grew up in North Africa. Her mitochondrial DNA lineage (passed down on the maternal line only) is common in southern and Eastern Europe. The teenager had blue eyes and yet there were things about her skeleton that suggested she had Sub-Saharan African ancestry.

The Mansell Street man

The analysis showed that Mansell Street man was over 45 years old with very dark brown hair and brown eyes. His mitochondrial DNA line was from North Africa and his remains show African traits as well. However, the chemical make-up of his teeth shows he grew up in London. His skeleton indicates that he had a form of bone disease that today is associated with diabetes caused by a protein-rich diet. That has come as a huge surprise to researchers because in modern populations this is a disease that mostly afflicts white males from the West. So the discovery will be of great interest to medical researchers.

The Gladiator

His skull was found in a pit along with the heads of 38 other men aged between 18 and 45 - all of whom had met a violent end. This particular individual was 36-45 when he died. He had suffered serious injuries to his skull that had healed, so he had led a violent life up to his death. His mother's ancestral line is common in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The Gladiator was not born in London, but he met a tragic end in the city. His head was removed from his body and probably left exposed in these pits for passers-by to see.

The Harper Road woman

"The Harper Road" woman was a first-generation Londoner. She had brown hair and brown eyes and died a handful of years after the city had been settled - shortly after Britain had been invaded by the Roman Empire in AD 43. She is buried with Roman pottery and belongings. When researchers checked the chemicals in her teeth, they confirmed she had been born in Britain. Ms McDonald was intrigued by the fact that a native Briton adopted a Roman lifestyle within a few years of the conquest. An added twist to the Harper Road woman's tale is that her chromosomes show that she was genetically a male - even though physically she was a woman - another feature that will intrigue modern-day researchers.

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