Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design

Committee Chair/Advisor

David Blakesley

Committee Member

Abel Bartley

Committee Member

Ufuk Ersoy

Committee Member

Frankie Felder


This research aims to investigate the slave existence in the Americas, with a specific focus on slavery in the U.S. South. The work herein incorporates mixed methods and secondary data analysis. Specifically, this body of work examines traditional methods of archival research and seeks to explore the challenges faced by African diasporans due to slavery and migratory movements after emancipation. In addition, the research employs genetic genealogy to penetrate archival research barriers faced by diasporans. Through investigations of genetic genealogy as a resource for making biological discoveries across lineages, the research examines how the archive and genetic testing re/inform our considerations of African diasporan histories as told from European historical perspectives as well as from perspectives of living diasporic descendants. This research further examines the ontological exile of ancestral voices within the colonially constructed archive and explores solutions for identity and narrative recovery. Through oral histories, the research explores lived experiences of descendants in attempts to re/establish identities to recover and re/tell narratives from a MyStorical perspective. My hypothesis is that genetic genealogy may be paired with traditional genealogical research to close gaps reinforced by patriarchal silencing of the African body and allow discoveries previously un/known, effectively leading to re/establishing identities and recovery of narratives.

Available for download on Saturday, August 31, 2024