Can DNA Help Us Grapple with the Past?

We know DNA is a master key that unlocks medical and forensic secrets, but genetic testing is also impacting urgent social issues around race in America. DNA-based techniques are being used in a variety of ways, including to grapple with the unfinished business of slavery: to foster reconciliation, to establish ties with African ancestral homelands, to rethink and sometimes alter citizenship, and to make legal claims for slavery reparations specifically based on ancestry. Alondra Nelson joins the Aspen Institute’s Michele Norris for a conversation about DNA as a portal to the past, revealing social traumas and historical injustices that resonate today and into the future.

Festival: 2017

Watch and Listen: U.S.A.

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