100 Amazing Facts About the Negro: Find out the percentage of African ancestry in black Americans.

By Henry Louis Gates, Jr., theRoot.com

A few years ago, it occurred to me that it might be fun to try to trace the family trees of a group of African Americans all the way back to slavery,

Seems simple enough, right? Play the game "Guess My Race" to learn about the complexities of appearance and racial identity.

Seems simple enough, right? Play the game “Guess My Race” to learn about the complexities of appearance and racial identity.

and then when the paper trail disappeared, analyze their DNA through biologist Rick Kittles’ company, AfricanAncestry.com. The payoff would be to reveal the ethnic group from which their maternal or paternal slave ancestors descended back in Africa. We would trace their family trees using the massive number of records now digitized by websites such as Ancestry.com, and supplement the paper trail using new tools of genetic science to find more distant details about each person’s ancestry. My goal was to create a contemporary version of the television series Roots — think of it as Roots in a test tube, Roots for the 21st century….

So, for The Root, I asked five DNA companies who analyze our guests’ ancestry if we could publish for the first time their findings about the ancestral origins of the African-American community. (By “African American,” I mean descendants of African slaves brought to this country before the Civil War, not recent African immigrants.) How African — how “black” — is the average African American? The results astonished me, just as they have surprised the guests on our TV show, and I think they’ll surprise you as well. But before revealing those results, I want to provide a short introduction to the secrets that DNA holds about a person’s ancestry.

Read more to discover what Professor Gates learned about the African roots of African Americans, here.

Play the game Guess My Race here.

Read more Breaking News here.