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Artsy chick. Certified nerd girl. Navigating the spaces of Black Excellence and global relevance. Support my other creative endeavors at

There really is a devil in the details, sometimes

Greetings, fellow genealogy sleuths!

If I have learned anything at all over the past five years of my journey, it’s that occasionally you have to go back over the things you think you know with a fine tooth comb. Accuracy demands it.

It’s not just that the testing and research sites are constantly revising and refining their offerings, but also that sometimes you are too close in to see the clues hidden in plain sight. …

To come so far, and yet…

Stand down, newbies! Disgruntled genealogist coming thruuuuuuu…

Friends and subscribers, welcome to the Third Decade of the Third Millennium of this here modern age. Nope, no flying cars yet. (And are we really mad about that? Some of you fail horribly at parallel parking.)

I know many of us thought things would be vastly different by now. KOAT is gone, thank da Good Lawd, but dassit. Still on lockdown, for the most part. Rona still taking folks out every 30 seconds or so.

We’re stuck on snafu, it seems.

On a personal note, I’ve…

Listen, I’m not sure where you stand with this whole election biz, but I took some time to share some thoughts about it today in a new piece titled Same As It Ever Was, inspired by the Talking Heads’ tune Once In A Lifetime.

I don’t know how often I’ll be sharing on Medium in the immediate future. I’m not looking to this platform as a primary source of income, or as the most efficient way for me to vent my feelings. …

I’m surprised that YOU are surprised. But, ah well…

It’s the morning of November 5th, and ballots are still being counted.

That’s the headline.

I’ve got friends who have resorted to all forms of indulgence and self-medication to get through the past few days and nights because this long, slow road to election winner declaration is pushing their psyches to the brink.

My lens is mad diff.

My current residence, named for the Latin phrase for City of Brotherly Love, has once again been teetering on the edge of emotional implosion because of the police murder of Walter Wallace Jr…

A Hello to subscribers, and a few more notes

Hey folks! Thank you for signing up to read The DNA Journey articles and take this walk with me, as I sort through the massive amount of information I’m uncovering in my own genealogical research.

Will probably write more about this soon, but my uncle Paul took a 23andMe test, at the urging of several cousins. His results came back incredibly quickly, within no more than 10 days! So I have confirmed, beyond all speculation, my maternal grandmother’s identity. …

Navigating thornier portions of the truth can be painful

Sometimes, reality comes at you fast.

I logged on to MyHeritage after receiving a notice about a new possible 3rd cousin to shoot her a quick message, as I often do when info about new closer matches comes my way. She happened to be online, so her reply was both cordial and speedy. Greetings, and a vow to exchange links to our respective Ancestry trees. Cool.

While on the site, I was once again taunted by the name of my 2nd closest match, to date. The one who tested on 23andMe…

Why the term ‘minority’ can get tossed out with the rest of the trash

Dear 2020, you are barely halfway done, but we’ve had enough of you.

Actually, we’ve had enough of a lot of things, including you, so don’t take it personal[ly]. Some of these societal changes have been a long, long time comin’ and we are glad to see them happening, rapidly.

The racist flags, statues and such…disappearing. Buildings and bridges being reimagined with loftier titling. My hometown football team, finally fearing the financial repercussions enough to change their offensive name and mascot. Formal apologies being issued. …

A deep(er) consideration of my blood relations

If your family tree looks like mine, you’ve got to give yourself plenty of grace when it comes to acknowledgement and forgiveness.

The story I intend to tell in its entirety will have to wait a while longer. I want to yell my truth from the rafters, in print and on film. But my truth is deeply entangled in that of other people’s, and I want to be respectful of their individual journeys to enlightenment.

Call me Genealogy Buddha.

So, I prayerfully stay mostly silent, as I wait for other relatives to get…

Flat-out lies, and other thoughts about hot air

I have a pretty short list of things that I absolutely hate.

Hate is a powerful emotion, which often leads to highly-irrational actions and responses. So I don’t toss around hate, as a verb, lightly.

Mild dislikes? I harbor plenty. Like people who know that spit gathers on their lips when they speak, but they do nothing to eliminate it, especially on camera. The stink of cigarette (and cheap weed) smoke. Messy car interiors. People who sing off-key with regularity. Clashing wardrobe colors and patterns. Subject-verb disagreement. Typos, and generally horrible spelling.

Greetings, folks. Thank you to those of you who were first in line to subscribe to this new Medium publication of mine.

I solemnly promise not to bombard you with my rants and ravings. I will contain them, along with more well-thoughtout insights, to the articles themselves. All I ask is that you check out the pieces when you have time. Applaud those you enjoy. And share those that speak to you with other people in your respective networks, as appropriate. All qualified references, and comments with constructive critique, are appreciated.

While you’re at it, please use your Medium subscriptions for their full value. There are a lot of amazing voices here. Absorb them, as you are able.

That’s all for now. Welcome, and hold on tight! The train has left the station.

Stephanie Renée

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