Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Special and Talented West DNA Cousin

Our DNA Cousin... 

Vy Higginsen is a remarkable woman: beautiful, charming, intelligent, talented and successful.  Her success and talent is shown through her passion with youth and gospel music through her Mama Foundation for the Arts.  She founded the not-for-profit organization in 2000 and is the driving force in its daily operations.  This foundation is dedicated to nurturing talented black youth in the arts.

Vy Higginsen is recognized as an impressive black pioneer in Harlem, New York's media elite.  She is the first black female writer, producer and director of the longest-running, Off-Broadway musical in the history of American theatre with Mama, I Want to Sing.  She is also a promoter, publisher, keynote speaker and much more!  Read her biography:   Her family is very talented, as well. Vy's late sister, Doris Troy, a well known R&B singer who sang the hit song "Just One Look" - her recording was used as a theme song for the Pepsi company for their national advertising.

In 2005 a Y-DNA test from her cousin James West established a link to the predominately white West Family DNA Project.  Vy and her family became the first African American family to enter this white family.  Marion West, a white cattle rancher from Poplar Bluff, Missouri invites Vy and her family to come for a visit on his ranch.  From there with Vy's promotional skills and connections, these two unlikely cousins are featured in a New York Times article, interviewed  on the Today Show by Matt Lauer.  The two appear on the NBC Nightly News, 60 Minutes and the Oprah Winfrey Show.

The DNA test was conducted by FamilyTreeDNA for the West Surname Project with James O. West matching other West males in Group # 5.  With over 350 West participants, Group #5 is the largest with 20 men.  Vy has become a big promoter of DNA testing.  Visit her DNA page:


  1. That is a great compliment coming from a person so experienced with social media, Taneya! Of course, I did have a very good subject with Vy (who had a very good web site for me to put together some great information about her).