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Legendary Latin Artist Celia Cruz’s African Roots Revealed Through Living Descendants and AfricanAncestry.com

Legendary Latin Artist Celia Cruz’s African Roots Revealed Through Living Descendants and AfricanAncestry.com

February 2021 — Known to many as La Guarachera de Cuba‘ and the ‘Queen of Salsa,’ Celia Cruz, the most popular Latin artist of the 20th Century, posthumously adds the Balanta people of Guinea-Bissau to her distinguished legacy. As part of AfricanAncestry.com’s Remember Who You Are campaign, Cruz’s iconic roots were traced using the DNA of a niece on her maternal line.

“This is an exciting moment for us because Celia Cruz fully embraced her African heritage in life and her music, which is pretty trailblazing for her time,” said AfricanAncestry.com President and Co-founder Gina Paige. “We’re proud to support the growing number of people from Latin America, the CaribbeanCanada, etc., turning to us to add the ‘African’ to their identities and legends such as Cruz paved the way.”

AfricanAncestry.com used its single lineage MatriClan® test to trace Celia Cruz’s mother’s mothers’ line to the Balanta people of Guinea-Bissau as means to honor Cruz. Celia Cody, Cruz’s niece and namesake provided her DNA through a simple swabbing of the cheek.

Records show that nearly 600,000 enslaved Africans were brought to Cuba during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Born in Havana, Cruz often integrated Yoruban Tribal influences in her work as a fearless show of African pride. “We now know she’s of the Balanta people — known as ‘those who resist’ — and we are honored to celebrate her legacy in this unprecedented way,” said Paige.

To see the video Reveal of Celia Cruz’s ancestry, visit AfricanAncestry.com/Remember. Visit www.AfricanAncestry.com for special Black History Month offers throughout February. For press inquiries in English and/or Spanish, contact Daniel Ali at Gatekeeper@TaylorCommunicationsGroup.com.

SOURCE AfricanAncestry.com


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As the leading Black female authority on genetics ancestry tracing for people of color, business owner and cultural identity expert, Dr. Paige shares wisdoms on culture, empowerment and community through the lens of Black identity.  Dr. Paige uses her platform to educate, uplift and inspire groups of all sizes including women’s groups, top corporations, community groups, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, family events and faith-based organizations, among others. She’s been tapped for keynotes, presentations, workshops, panels, talks, etc., leading lively sessions on topics from genetics ancestry tracing and heritage travel to Black identity and cultural and historical nuances that provoke new thought on who we are in today’s America. The New York Times Travel Show, Wall Street Journal Health Forum, Chula Vista TEDx, Stanford University, Netflix, LinkedIn and The Walt Disney Company are among Paige’s most recent engagements. Visit GinaPaige.com to book Dr. Paige.


Founded in 2003, African Ancestry Inc. (AfricanAncestry.com) pioneered African lineage matching in the United States utilizing its proprietary DNA-database to more accurately assess present-day countries of origin for people of African descent. African Ancestry’s products include the MatriClanand PatriClanancestry tests and customized memorabilia and informative resources. African Ancestry is Black-owned and headquartered in Washington, DC. For general media inquiries, contact Nichole Taylor at taylor@taylorcommunicationsgroup.com.

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