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Journey of a Man - Essay Example

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Name Journey of Man ‘The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey’ is a National Geographic documentary made on the book with the same title, and hosted by the author of that book, Spencer Wells. The main theory implied by this documentary is that the whole of mankind originated from a single man who lived in Africa around 60,000 years ago…
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Download file to see previous pages... Moreover, I was greatly intrigued by the way physical features of different groups evolved, and flattered that the male sex chromosome played an important part in this research. However, some of Wells’s sayings seemed contradictory to his views. Moreover, I did not like the way the host acted sometimes while conducting the research. Therefore, after watching this documentary, I had mixed opinions about it. During the beginning of the documentary, an explanation is given on Wells’s theory that the birthplace of all humans alive on this planet is the same-Africa. The pride I felt in my ethnicity after discovering this was immense. True, I do not completely associate myself with Africa as my nationality is ‘American’, but I am after all an ‘African American’. This realization also instilled a sense of shame in me due to not having even a bit of patriotism in me for the country where we African Americans are originally from; early in America’s history, Africans were brought to America from Africa as slaves but were later given freedom and equality, due to which we are now African Americans. This documentary has made me accept the fact that it does not matter which country I was born in or which country’s nationality I assume. What really matters is that all African Americans know that their great great grandfathers directly originated from Africa, but majority of them forget about this origin. I myself had forgotten this origin until I watched this documentary. This is not the only reason why I am so grateful to this documentary. Thanks to the ground-breaking discoveries made by Spencer Wells, one develops a new perspective of the concept of race. By stating that “we are all African under the skin”, Wells’s disregards all the old-fashioned concepts of race, such as thinking that people with the same color of skin or language are the same. Spencer puts this point across by exploring how Africans migrated to different parts of the world and evolved in different ways, which is why people with similar physical characteristics started to associate themselves with one of these ‘different races’. The documentary disagrees with such associations and I highly agree with this point. I believe that by seeing an individual through ‘racial lenses’, assumptions about that individual would definitely be made according to his/her ‘race’. According to me, this is termed as a kind of discrimination. Being an African American, I myself have been a victim of having assumptions being made about me, such as the time when a grocery owner kept a watchful eye on me while I was buying groceries (just because majority of the shoplifters in that neighborhood are African American). Therefore I really approved of Wells’s opinion that everyone is the same, and not part of ‘different races’. As he says in his documentary, we have the same descendant, who was from Africa. However, something about this statement of his made me doubt his personal opinions a bit. By terming us all as ‘Africans’, Wells is in fact calling us a race-something which is contradictory to what his views throughout the documentary are. According to Wells, there is no such thing as a race, but implying that we are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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