Who Are Your People?” Event Features Co-Founder Dr. Rick Kittles of African Ancestry, Inc.
The African American Heritage Society and The Pensacola State College Black History/ Multicultural Committee and their partners invite you to attend a free lecture by Dr. Rick Kittles, co-founder and scientific director of African Ancestry, Inc., a genetic testing company that uses DNA to trace the ancestry of people of African descent back to a present-day African country or ethnic group of origin. There will be a “Meet & Greet” at Zion Hope Primitive Baptist Church, 1:30-2:30 PM, if you would like to meet Dr. Kittles before the lecture or buy an ancestry test kit. Dr. Kittles will speak at 6:30 PM at the Hagler Auditorium, in Building 2, Room 252 at Pensacola State College on 1000 College Blvd. After his talk, Dr. Kittles will perform a “Roots Reveal Ceremony”, uncovering the African ancestry of Roy Jones Jr., Elder Bernard Yates, Fred Robbins, and Dr. John Veasley.
Dr. Kittles was named in Ebony magazine’s, “The Ebony Power 100”, selected as one of the nation’s top 100 African-American “power players” in various professions. In March of 2012 Dr. Kittles presented the Keynote Address to the United Nations General Assembly, “International Day of Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade”. Rick Kittles received his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from George Washington University in 1998. Dr. Kittles is well known for his research on prostate cancer and health disparities among African Americans and has been at the forefront of the development of ancestry-informative genetic markers, and the use of genetic ancestry to map genes for common traits and disease.
Having traced ancestry for many notable African Americans, he was featured in the PBS series, “African American Lives”, hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. He was also featured in BBC films, “Motherland: A Genetic Journey” and “Motherland – Moving On”, as well as TV newsmagazine “60 Minutes”.
The following is background information on the local participants in the “Roots Reveal Ceremony” that will be conducted:
• Roy Jones, Jr. is a Pensacola native and a world famous boxer, actor, musician, and businessman. As a boxer, he has captured numerous championships in the Middleweight, Super middleweight, Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight divisions. He is the only boxer in history to start his career as a junior middleweight, and go on to win a heavyweight title. He is also noted for holding the WBC, WBA, IBF, IBO, NABF, WBF, and IBA light heavyweight championships; a record seven belts at the same time. Jones left his mark in boxing history when he won the WBA heavyweight title, becoming the first former middleweight champion to win a Heavyweight title in over a century. Jones was named “Fighter of the Decade” for the 1990’s by the Boxing Writers Association of America.
• Elder Bernard C. Yates is President of the National Primitive Baptist Convention Inc., and serves as Pastor of the Zion Hope Primitive Baptist Church in Pensacola. He is a native of Mobile, Alabama and the son of Mother Maggie B. Yates and the late Deacon Robert L. Yates, Sr., President Yates became pastor of Zion Hope Primitive Baptist Church, Pensacola, in 1985—after having served as pastor of Mt. Lebanon Primitive Baptist Church in Waxahachie, Texas for 9 years. As pastor of Zion Hope—a fast growing church, Elder Yates led the Zion Hope Family of Faith into a 27,000 square foot multi-purpose complex known as the Center of Hope for Family and Community Life in 2003. Presently, he serves on a number of boards and advisory councils in the Pensacola area.
• Fred Robbins is a Pensacola native and a retired NFL defensive tackle and Super Bowl XLII Champion. From his successful college career at Wake Forest, he was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the second round of the 2000 NFL Draft. Robbins has also played for the New York Giants and St. Louis Rams where he started in every game after his rookie year. He was named to the 2008 Sports Illustrated All-Pro team.
• Dr. John Veasley is a retired public healthcare provider and genealogy enthusiast. Dr. Veasley has collected and traced his own family history from Attala County, MS. He is the current President of the Pensacola Branch of the NAACP and Vice President of the Northwest Florida Genealogical Society.
The event coordinator of the event is Teniade “Toni” Broughton and she encourages groups of local organizations to attend and to join in the conversation about this incredible presentation on Facebook at: https://m.facebook.com/events/492977504141322