Slavery is good marketing for Ancestry.com, the outfit that sells DNA tests. It’s not a good look for the firm. Whitewashing never is.
Clint Smith, a Harvard PhD candidate, tried to tweet some sense into ancestry.com
ancestry dot com: how can we overly romanticize & create an irresponsible, ahistorical depiction of the relationship between white men & black women during the period of chattel slavery that completely disregards its power dynamics & the trauma of sexual exploitation? https://t.co/s5BqnoSg9x
— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) April 18, 2019
So did Josh Crosson, the senior policy director at EdAllies, the Minnesota organization that advocates for better education for the underserved.
A lot to unpack in these 30 seconds… 📦 celebrating white saviors 📦revising the history of the relationship between white men and female slaves in the south 📦silencing of black women 📦promoting the idea that the north is a haven https://t.co/pBq0CZaPiW
— Joshua Crosson (@joshcrosson) April 18, 2019
Bishop Talbert Swan provided a history lesson to the company.
What the hell is this @Ancestry?
Why do white people insist on romanticizing my Black female ancestors experiences with white men during slavery?
They were raped, abused, treated like animals, beaten, and murdered by white men. Stop with the revisions.pic.twitter.com/cDEWdkzJPm
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) April 18, 2019
Last evening, Ancestry.com apologized, but how do you even produce the ad if you have even a thimblefull of historical knowledge?
“Ancestry is committed to telling important stories from history,” the company said in a statement. “This ad was intended to represent one of those stories. We very much appreciate the feedback we have received and apologize for any offense that the ad may have caused.”
(h/t: Paul Tosto)